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Unemployment Claims Come in at 5.24 Million

Unemployment claims reported a slight decline from the prior, according to the U.S. Department of Labor, falling to 5.24 million for the week ending on April 11. 

This represents a small decline from the previous weeks’ revised rate of 6.6 million. The four-week average was 5.5 million—an increase of 1.24 million the prior week’s average. 

The report states the insured unemployment rate for the week ending on April 4 was 8.2%. This is the highest level for the insured unemployment rate in the history of the adjusted series. The previous high was 7% in May 1975. 

Doug Duncan, Chief Economist at Fannie Mae, said over the last four weeks a total of 22 million have filed for unemployment benefits—nearly 15% of the workforce. 

The ongoing surge in UI claims is a result of declining economic activity driven by the COVID-19 outbreak,” Duncan said. 

He added that continued claims, which represents the total number of people claiming benefits at any point in time, was nearly 12 million for the week ending on April 4—a new all-time high. 

Realtor.com’s Senior Economist George Ratiu said while Congress has acted to provide stimulus checks for many consumers, “the funds may be too little too late.”

“With another few weeks of suspended economic activity, April’s homebuilder sentiment may be just the tip of the iceberg, and we can expect further pull-back in construction,” he said. 

Ratiu, in a piece published on realtor.com, found that a segment of Americans have noted their living situation has changed since the COVID-19 outbreak. 

His piece, which included data from a recent survey, found that 8.5% of polled said they moved in with a family member. The demographic impacted the most are those under the age of 34, with 16.3% saying they’ve moved in with a friend and 17.5% have moved in with a family member. 

Mark Fleming, Chief Economist at First American Financial, said on Twitter that this economic downturn could be the “fastest-moving recession ever.” 

He cited data from the Deutsche Bank that shows while the recession will be deep, the economy is expected to rebound during Q3 2020 and reach 2019 levels in one year. 

About Author: Mike Albanese

Mike Albanese is a reporter for DS News and MReport. He is a University of Alabama graduate with a degree in journalism and a minor in communications. He has worked for publications—both print and online—covering numerous beats. A Connecticut native, Albanese currently resides in Lewisville.

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