The steady surge of job losses continued this past week as 6.6 million Americans applied for unemployment benefits, according to figures released by the U.S. Department of Labor on April 9.
More than 17 million new jobless claims have been filed in the past four weeks, an unprecedented jump in unemployment in the country since President Trump declared a national emergency because of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
The 17 million figure includes new reporting from the Labor Department that even more people filed for unemployment in the prior week, pushing the jobless claims up during the week ending March 28 to a record 6.9 million, up from 6.6 million, reports the Washington Post.
With the latest jobless claims report as a backdrop, the Federal Reserve has stepped in by announcing a new $2.3 trillion package of loans to provide further support for small businesses and consumers that have seen their incomes dry up as the pandemic has spread.
The Fed said it will supply the necessary financing for banks that are participating in the Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program, as well as add $600 billion to its Main Street Lending Program for small businesses and boost the funding for the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act by $75 billion.
Other loan facilities will receive greater backing by the Fed, which is trying to keep the U.S. economy going in the midst of massive disruption.
President Trump is expected to soon announce the formation of a second task force that will be focused on the economy.
To read more on the jobless claims, click here.
To read more on the Fed’s new loan program, click here.