Nearly 3 Million Americans Filed For Unemployment Benefits For The First Time Last Week

The worst unemployment figures since the Great Depression 3:38

(WAB NEWS) – Nearly 3 million people filed for unemployment benefits in the United States in the week ending May 9.

In total, more than 36.5 million Americans have sought unemployment aid for the first time since mid-March.


Ongoing requests increased to 22.8 million for the week ending May 2, a slight increase from the previous week.

It was the eighth week in a row that the number of initial grant applications decreased after peaking at 6.9 million in the last week of March. Economists say this is relatively good news because it means things are not getting worse.

Initial jobless claims are one of the closest available measures to take a “real-time” look at the economy.

Most economic data takes weeks, if not months. This is why weekly grant application data is so important during this crisis.

But now that initial grant applications have been declining for two months in a row, economists are beginning to shift their focus to continuous grant applications, which count people who submit them several weeks in a row. That number stood at 22.8 million, a little more than the week before.

A decrease in continued subsidy applications could indicate that the reopening of the economy has been successful in getting people who lost their jobs due to confinements to re-enter the job market.

According to the monthly job report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the United States lost more than 20 million jobs in April alone, bringing the unemployment rate to 14.7%. Unemployment claims are not equal to job loss, as the two data points are based on different surveys.