More than 4.4 million Americans filed initial claims for unemployment in the week ending April 18, bringing the total over the last five weeks to a staggering 26.5 million, the U.S. Department of Labor said Thursday.
The figure, which factors in seasonal adjustments, was down 810,000 from the previous week, but still means that about 16.2 percent of the U.S. labor force is either without a job or struggling with reduced hours, according to CNN.
It also means that job losses have surpassed all job gains since the Great Recession, CNBC reported.
Though the numbers for the week are slightly higher than expected — economists had reportedly predicted 4.3 million new claims — the numbers have at least started ticking downwards.
“We’re likely seeking the peak in claims as people get back to wo...