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Nearly 3 million more Americans file for unemployment benefits

In Ohio, more than 51,000 filed jobless claims last week. Pennsylvania saw an additional 75,000 claims.
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WASHINGTON — New jobless claims continued their COVID-19 surge last week, driving the total number of those filing for unemployment benefits to more than 36 million over the past two months.

Even as many states across the country began easing restrictions and slowly reopening their economies, 2.98 million Americans filed for new unemployment benefits for the week ending May 9, according to data released today by the U.S. Department of Labor.

That's down 195,000 from the 3.17 million Americans who filed claims for the week ending May 2, but still well above the numbers seen before the coronavirus outbreak led to stay-at-home orders that closed businesses deemed nonessential.

In Ohio, 50,548 filed jobless claims last week, bringing the total since the coronavirus crisis began to 876,491.

Pennsylvania recorded another 75,000 new jobless claims, continuing a seven-week trend of declining claims but still about five times more than what the state saw before the coronavirus outbreak began. About 1.8 million Pennsylvanians have filed for unemployment over the past eight weeks.

Connecticut led all states with 298,680 new unemployment claims filed last week. Georgia saw 241,387 new claims, and California saw 214,028.

Michael Lucci, president and publisher of 50economy.org, last week placed the real-time unemployment rate in the U.S. at 23.8 percent through April 25.

"The COVID-19 pandemic has turned the American economy on its head, leaving nearly 1 in 4 American workers unemployed," Lucci wrote. "In only two months, the U.S. economy transformed from full employment to extreme joblessness that Americans have not lived through since the Great Depression."

Still, some workers are returning to their jobs. Since the calendar turned to May, several states began limited reopenings of certain business sectors. Even states that haven’t loosened restrictions yet are putting together plans for reopening that could begin to roll out this month or next.

— Story courtesy of The Center Square.