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3.2M more U.S. workers have filed for unemployment, Labor Dept. says

By
Don Jacobson
Demonstrators gather near Los Angeles City Hall in Los Angeles, Calif., on May 1 to rally against coronavirus restrictions that have closed businesses and killed jobs nationwide over the last several weeks.  Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI
Demonstrators gather near Los Angeles City Hall in Los Angeles, Calif., on May 1 to rally against coronavirus restrictions that have closed businesses and killed jobs nationwide over the last several weeks.  Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI | License Photo

May 7 (UPI) -- Another 3.2 million Americans have filed new unemployment claims, the Labor Department said in its weekly report Thursday.

The department said filings for the week ending May 2 saw a decrease of 677,000 from the prior week.

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About 3.8 million adults in the United States filed for benefits last week, and more than 33 million Americans have filed new unemployment claims over the last seven weeks. Thursday's report revised last week's figure up by 7,000 claims.

The four-week average is now just under 4.2 million, the department said, a decrease of 861,000 from last week.

Many economists, however, believe the true unemployment rate is significantly higher because the Labor Department reports don't count workers who have been furloughed and expect to return to their jobs. They have not filed for unemployment because they're not actively looking for work, as is required to make a claim.

If furloughed workers were counted, experts say the unemployment rate would be closer to 22 percent -- approaching the all-time high of 25 percent during the Great Depression.

Experts say the jobless numbers also don't reflect gains made in the past few weeks as sectors of the U.S. economy have begun to reopen.

ADP and Moody's Analytics reported Wednesday that 20.2 million fewer workers were employed by private companies in April. Most analysts expect the Labor Department's jobs report Friday to show a loss of about 22 million for the month.

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Mannequins with face masks and designer clothing fill a window at a Diane Von Furstenberg store in New York City on September 8, 2020. Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo

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