As more than 95% of the US is under a stay-at-home order due to the COVID-19 outbreak, another 5.2 million Americans have filed for unemployment this week. While this number has dipped slightly from a record 6.6 million people a fortnight ago, this brings the number of Americans who have lost their jobs this month to 22 million.
Figures released by the US Department of Labour on Thursday are a stark reminder of the effect the pandemic has had on the country. The release came only a few hours after the US death toll from the virus exceeded 32,000. Reports out of the White House stated that President Donald Trump is considering relaxing social distancing measures at the beginning of May.
Much like the United Kingdom, the United States is trying to delicately negotiate this unprecedented period in our history by balancing the health of its citizens with that of its economy. A forecast released by the Office for Budget Responsibility on Wednesday suggested that UK unemployment could soar by more than 2 million. The same forecast warned that the lockdown could shrink GDP by 35% in the second quarter of 2020.