4.4 million Americans filed for unemployment last week, bringing 5-week total to 26 million

Department of Labor expected to release more unemployment numbers Thursday
Posted at 6:32 AM, Apr 23, 2020

The Department of Labor said Thursday that 4.4 million Americans filed initial unemployment claims in the last week. That brings the total number of initial claims filed in the previous five weeks to 26 million.

That figure marks the second straight week in which initial claims fell. However, prior to the coronavirus pandemic, initial unemployment claims never came close to topping 1 million in a single week.

Colorado and New York both saw initial claims increase by more than 50,000 in the last week. On the other end of the spectrum, California saw its number of claims decrease by more than a quarter million, and Michigan saw claims decrease by 166,000.

The department's report comes amid dire times for the world economy. Earlier this week, at least one listing for crude oil began selling in the negatives, as demand for fuel has plummeted and distributors have run out of storage space.

Though some state governors have indicated that they plan to lift lockdown restrictions and allow non-essential businesses to open as early as the end of the month, others have indicated restrictions could remain in place through the end of May. Earlier this week, CDC Robert R. Redfield said he expects more outbreaks of the coronavirus into the fall, meaning the U.S. economy likely won't be working a full capacity for the foreseeable future.