More Than 40 Million Americans Are Out of Work

New data from the Department of Labor shows that 2.1 million more people filed for unemployment benefits last week.

By Megan McDonald May 28, 2020

Image: Shutterstock

Another 2.1 million people filed unemployment benefits last week, according to new data from the U.S. Department of Labor, bringing the total number of Americans currently out of work to more than 40 million. The largest increases in initial claims for the week ending May 16 were in California (31,764), Washington (29,288), New York (24,543), Florida (2,322) and Michigan (1,549), while the largest decreases were in Georgia (65,041), New Jersey (27,324), Kentucky (22,051), Louisiana (11,580) and Pennsylvania (11,172). The Washington Post also reports that the Trump administration will break with tradition and not release a mid-year update to its economic forecasts this summer due to uncertainty about the economy and fears of a recession surrounding the novel coronavirus.

And while the number of new claims has decreased from the eight-week high of 6.9 million, the news comes as the U.S. reached a devastating milestone this week: more than 100,000 people have died as a result of COVID-19.

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