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Unemployment claims continue to climb

Unemployment claims continue to be incredibly high across the country and right here in Tennessee. The week ending April 11, 74,772 new unemployment claims were filed by Tennesseans. Combined with the prior three weeks, that makes 324,501 new claims in Tennessee over the past four weeks, with the peak week being April 4, when 116,141 filed for unemployment. For a reference, 2,702 claims were filed on March 14, just before the COVID-19 pandemic began affecting the job market.

More than 5.2 million Americans filed for unemployment benefits last week, putting the total at more than 22 million Americans out of work in the past month.

This number reflects a larger job loss in 30 days than the amount of jobs added to the economy since The Great Recession. Although official unemployment numbers aren’t yet available, two professors tracking the numbers in real time report that unemployment is at 20 percent, a rate not seen since The Great Depression.

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