22 Million Jobless Claims In 1 Month: Last 4 Weeks Erase All Jobs Created Since The Great Recession

In the last week 5.245 million Americans filed for unemployment benefits for the first time.

Source: Bloomberg

This level comes in right aaround Goldman's estimate...

That brings the four-week total to 22.025, which is over 10 times the prior worst four-week period in the last 50-plus years.

And of course, last week's "initial" claims and this week's "continuing" claims... the highest level of continuing claims ever

Source: Bloomberg

As Deutsche Bank's Brett Ryan notes,

"This record surge in claims should push the unemployment rate up to 17% in the April data, a new post-World War II high."

And in fact, a new study of high-frequency labor market data suggests the unemployment rate may already have topped 20%...

Although the researchers do note, over half of the unemployed reported being temporarily laid off, suggesting that many could return to work quickly if conditions improve.

However, what is most disturbing is that in the last four weeks, more Americans have filed for unemployment than jobs gained during the last decade since the end of the Great Recession... (22.13 million gained in a decade, 22.025 million lost in 4 weeks)

Finally, perhaps some good news, the latest Google Trends data also suggest that interest in filing claims waned somewhat.

Worse still, the final numbers will likely be worsened due to the bailout itself: as a reminder, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, passed on March 27, could contribute to new records being reached in coming weeks as it increases eligibility for jobless claims to self-employed and gig workers, extends the maximum number of weeks that one can receive benefits, and provides an additional $600 per week until July 31. A recent WSJ article noted that this has created incentives for some businesses to temporarily furlough their employees, knowing that they will be covered financially as the economy is shutdown. Meanwhile, those making below $50k will generally be made whole and possibly be better off on unemployment benefits.

Finally, it is notable, we have lost 710 jobs for every confirmed US death from COVID-19 (30,985).

Was it worth it?