(CBS News) — More than three million Americans applied for unemployment benefits last week, raising to more than 42 million the number of workers who have lost jobs since thecrippled the economy.
Some 2.1 million people filed for unemployment benefits in the week ending May 23, the Labor Department said Thursday. Another 1.2 million applied for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, a new federal program expanding jobless aid to self-employed and gig workers.
“The U.S. economy is suffering its most traumatic job loss in history, with twice as many Americans put out of work over the last two months than during the entire Great Recession,” Oxford Economics analysts wrote in a research note. “Sadly, more pain awaits in May. But labor market conditions should start to improve thereafter as shuttered businesses reopen.”