İrem GÖL -TDO- More than 6.6 million Americans lost their jobs last week, with 16 million jobs gone in the past three weeks, as the coronavirus pandemic brought the US economy to a standstill. Millions of Americans filed for unemployment benefits again last week, the US labour department confirmed on Thursday, as shutdowns across the US led employers to lay off workers in nearly every corner of the market. Economists had expected 5.25 million Americans to file for unemployment benefits for the week ending 4 April.

The astonishing pace of losses means more people have been put out of work in the last three weeks than in the two years of the last recession. Job losses are rising in every state and economists are predicting the unemployment rate will soon reach 15% or higher, levels unseen since before the Second World War.

In the meantime, there will probably be more sharp spikes in unemployment claims in the weeks ahead. Unemployment offices have been unable to cope with high volumes of claims made in recent weeks, with widespread reports of websites crashing and phone lines collapsing under the weight of calls. Those delays will further through to the figures in the coming weeks.

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