InDaily InDaily

Support independent Journalism Donate Subscribe
Support independent journalism


Virus claims 30 million Americans jobs in six weeks


More than thirty million American have registered for unemployment benefits since coronavirus hit in March – including 3.8 million last week alone.

Print article

Some economists say that when the US unemployment rate for April comes out next week, it could be as high as 20 per cent – a figure not seen since the Depression of the 1930s, when joblessness peaked at 25 per cent.

Lockdowns and restrictions to contain the virus have shut down industries and businesses.

US GDP data yesterday also showed a 4.8 per cent contraction in the first quarter and Federal Reserve chair Jerome Powell said the US economy was likely to see an “unprecedented” downturn in the next three month period.

The virus has killed more than 61,000 people across the US and infected more than one million.

Worldwide it has claimed more than 230,000 lives, with 3.2 million infections.

European economies also have been hit hard. The economy in the 19 countries using the euro shrank 3.8 per cent in the first quarter of the year, the biggest contraction since the eurozone countries began keeping joint statistics 25 years ago.

France’s economy shrank by 5.8 per cent, the biggest quarterly drop since 1949.

Spain’s economy contracted by 5.2 per cent, while Germany predicts its economy will retract by 6.3 per cent this year.

Unemployment in Europe has reached 7.4 per cent, but job-protection programs run by governments are temporarily keeping millions of Europeans on payrolls, sparing them from the massive lay-offs seen in the US.

But there are warnings that statistics do not capture the enormity of the economic crisis.

The quarterly figures cover January through March, and many of the lockdowns in Europe and the US were not imposed until March.

-with AAP

Want to comment?

Send us an email, making it clear which story you’re commenting on and including your full name (required for publication) and phone number (only for verification purposes). Please put “Reader views” in the subject.

We’ll publish the best comments in a regular “Reader Views” post. Your comments can be brief, or we can accept up to 350 words, or thereabouts. 

Make a comment View comment guidelines

Local News Matters

Media diversity is under threat in Australia – nowhere more so than in South Australia. The state needs more than one voice to guide it forward and you can help with a donation of any size to InDaily. Your contribution goes directly to helping our journalists uncover the facts. Please click below to help InDaily continue to uncover the facts.

Donate today
Powered by PressPatron

More World stories

Loading next article