Coronavirus: US unemployment rises by 6.6 million in one week

9 April 2020, 16:59

By Maddie Goodfellow

More than 6.6 million Americans lost their jobs last week as the coronavirus pandemic continues to hit the US economy.

In total, around 16 million jobs have been lost in the last three weeks across the US.

Millions of Americans have already applied for unemployment benefits as shutdowns caused employers to lay off workers.

So far, more have been laid off in the last two weeks than in the final two years of the last recession.

Layoffs in the US started in the restaurant and leisure industries and have now spread across manufacturing, construction and healthcare.

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The largest increases in unemployment were in California (up 871,992), New York (up 286,596) and Florida (up 154,171).

Economists confirmed that the unemployment rate is likely to reach 15 per cent or higher.

On Wednesday, the number of American victims of coronavirus jumped to over 14,000 and the number of infected began creeping towards half a million.

The US now has nearly 420,000 cases of the coronavirus, along with 14,262 deaths, according to the Johns Hopkins University count.

The hardest hit state remains New York, which has recorded 6,268 deaths from the virus.