Eddie Mair 4pm - 7pm
Coronavirus: US unemployment claims hit 3.3 million
7 May 2020, 23:22
3.3 million Americans sought unemployment benefits last week as the economic toll from coronavirus pandemic continued to grow.
A further 3.2 million Americans have sought unemployment benefits in the last week, making a total of 3.3 million since mid march.
This means about 20 per cent of the US workforce are now claiming unemployment benefits.
However, the number of new claims reported each week have decreased since the record high of 6.9 million recorded in March.
It comes as President Trump announced plans to "open up the country" following reports his administration is ignoring expert advice to exert extreme caution.
Companies such as Uber, Lyft and Airbnb are amongst a plethora of firms that announced cuts in recently.
Economists say the monthly unemployment rate for April is likely to reach 15% or higher.
Just two months ago, the unemployment rate was at 3.5%, the lowest it had been in 50 years.
The United States has been the worst hit nation on the planet during the coronavirus pandemic, suffering over 76,000 deaths and recording over 1,250,000 cases around the country.