New data from the U.S. Department of Labor shows that 2,981,000 people filed for unemployment during the week ending May 9, bringing the total number of unemployed Americans to nearly 36.5 million over the course of the last two months. The DOL reports that the largest increases in initial claims for the week ending May 2 were in Oklahoma (41,385), Maryland (25,318), New Jersey (16,360), Maine (8,452), and Puerto Rico (4,600), while the largest decreases were in Florida (258,243), Alabama (45,981), Georgia (38,213), Washington (37,289), and Pennsylvania (33,451). That same week, the unemployment rate spiked to 15.7 percent.
According to a new economic well-being survey released by the Federal Reserve, low-income residents have been hit particularly hard by the pandemic: 39 percent of people living in a household earning $40,000 or less reported a job loss. Nine in 10 people who lost a job said reported that their employer indicated that they would return to their job "at some point"; in general, however, people were not told specifically when to expect to return to work.