Almost 680K Hoosiers have filed for unemployment since the coronavirus pandemic began

2.4M more Americans file jobless claims US Labor Dept

2.4M more Americans file jobless claims US Labor Dept

The study, released by WalletHub, says Kentucky is the 8th most-affected state last week when it comes to an increase in unemployment claims due to COVID-19. Construction and the professional services sector have also suffered job cuts.

Such industries as retail, entertainment and recreation were shuttered and residents ordered to stay home to slow the spread of the coronavirus. Retailers that furloughed store associates, for instance, are starting to reopen their stores. Restaurants can reopen dining rooms Friday at 33% capacity. Economists were estimating 24.25 million continuing claims for the week.

Nationwide unemployment hit a peak of 24.9 percent amid the Great Depression, and a post-Depression height of 10.8 percent in December, 1982.

A monthly report on the state's unemployment rate, to be released Friday, will provide a more accurate picture of the state's unemployment rate in April.

The Department of Labor figures published Thursday morning showed that 2.4 million filed Americans initial claims for unemployment benefits in the week ending May 16.

Eligible Oklahomans will receive 13 more weeks of unemployment benefits for the period beginning the week of March 29 through the week of December 26.

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While high unemployment figures remain a big red flag for the American economy, the stock market has been steadily regaining the losses it experienced in February and March.

State Labor Secretary Rosalin Acosta said her department has boosted its capacity to respond to the surge in applicants.

"We're very pleased to see the balance begin to shift this week with the number of new claims trending downward and the number being processed curving upward", Labor Commissioner Robert Asaro-Angelo said in a statement.

Surveys suggest these numbers under represent the number of people who lost their jobs. But state unemployment systems were overwhelmed by the load and backlogs developed.

The federal government has been shipping in an extra $600 a week to state unemployment benefits, making the program much more generous.

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