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Have States With Lockdown Protests Been Hit Harder By Unemployment?


Thursday’s unemployment numbers — 4.4 million initial claims filed for the week ending April 18, according to the Department of Labor — followed the general trend we’ve seen the past few weeks. After spiking to 6.9 million for the week ending on March 28, the number of new seasonally adjusted claims has gone down each successive week, though the numbers are still astronomical. About 26.5 million Americans have filed for unemployment over the past five weeks, the same number you would get if you added up the initial-claims numbers from March 14 going back to Nov. 25 … of 2017.

Just to put all of this further in perspective: If the total U.S. labor force is 163 million strong, at least 16 percent of it has now lost a job since mid-March. (And that’s without even accounting for the previous unemployment rate of around 3.5 percent that existed before the coronavirus really hit the U.S.) COVID-19 is creating an unemployment crisis unlike anything America has seen in a very, very long time.

Perhaps that explains some of why we’re beginning to see backlash against the full stay-at-home orders that have been enacted in 42 states and the District of Columbia as a means of slowing the coronavirus’s spread.