3.8 million Americans filed for unemployment last week, bringing 6-week total to 30 million

Posted at 4:58 AM, Apr 30, 2020

The Department of Labor said Thursday that 3.8 million Americans filed for unemployment in the last week, bringing the six-week total to about 30 million.

Those figures are slightly down from last week, when the Department of Labor reported that 4.4 million Americans filed initial claims for unemployment.

Florida saw the largest increase in unemploment claims last week, as claims jumped by 326,000. The jump comes after the state's unemployment offices shut down over the weekend in order to deal with a back log of applications.

Connecticut, West Virginia, Louisiana and Texas also saw a significant increase in claims.

The past month-and-a-half have seen unprecedented numbers of new unemployment claims amid the coronavirus pandemic. From 2007 to early 2020, the Department of Labor reports that the highest number of new unemployment claims filed was about 665,000. But since local governments began enforcing shutdowns of non-essential businesses amid the coronavirus pandemic, the Labor Department reports that an average of about 5 million Americans has filed claims a week.

Unemployment claims are usually a good indicator as to how many Americans lost their jobs in the past week. But a recent survey from the Economic Policy Institute indicates that millions of Americans gave up filing for assistance or haven't even tried because they knew systems would be overloaded.

The new figures come a day after the Commerce Department released grim estimates, indicatign that the U.S. economy had shrunk nearly 5 percent in the last quarter.