5 million new jobless claims expected when weekly report released Thursday

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A report of new jobless claims for last week is due out Thursday and millions of people are again expected to have been added to the unemployment rolls. But, it’s not expected to be as high as the record numbers seen since the coronavirus pandemic’s effects hit the economy.

CNBC reports that economists expect claims for the week ending April 11 will be around 5 million. Mark Zandi, the chief economist at Moody’s Analytics, says he expects it to be about 6 million. Bloomberg says economists it spoke to put it in the middle at 5.5 million, according to USA Today.

That’s lower than the 6.9 million and 6.6 million reported in each of the two previous weeks. It’s still higher than the 3.3 million reported three weeks ago which, at the time, quadrupled the old record.

The report is due out at 8:30 a.m. ET.

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Zandi told MSNBC he thinks this week “may be the apex” of the job losses. He cites possible May openings from shelter-in-place orders, and the CARES Act, passed by Congress, which includes funds to aid small businesses.

The unemployment numbers for April won’t be released until May 8. The total job losses for the month could be more than 20 million and could send the unemployment rate into double digits for the first time in more than 10 years.

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