April 30 (UPI) -- Nearly 4 million more Americans have filed for new unemployment claims, the Labor Department said in an update Thursday.
The department said 3.8 million filed new claims for the week ending April 25. The number is a decrease of about 600,000 from the previous week, which was revised up by about 15,000 applicants.
Most analysts expected around 3.5 million new claims, about half the level from the peak of the coronavirus pandemic earlier this month. Ten million new claims were filed in the first two weeks of April alone and about 30 million have done so in the last six weeks.
By contrast, about 200,000 new claims were filed per week in January and February before the impact of the crisis arrived in the United States.
Experts feel the Labor Department figures are likely lower than true unemployment numbers, since jobless systems in states like New York, New Jersey and Michigan have been overwhelmed by applicants.
The Commerce Department reported Wednesday the U.S. economy shrank by almost 5 percent over the first quarter, from the start of January to the end of March.