Massachusetts unemployment rates keep on rising
While Massachusetts businesses slowly started reopening this week in a four-phase reopening plan, the road to a full recovery will belong. In the nine weeks since companies began laying off and furloughing workers, 898,085 Massachusetts residents have applied for unemployment benefits, which is more than the total number of jobs added since the end of the Great Recession.
While the weekly report has shown a leveling off in the past several weeks, the weekly number released Thursday is still higher than any week during the Great Recession.
The biggest weekly claims number in Massachusetts during the Great Recession came in December 2008, when 22,028 people filed for unemployment during a single week. But in 2008, layoffs came in waves over the course of several months.
Nationally, 2.44 million people filed for unemployment in the week ending May 2. The number of claims fell from 2.98 million the previous week. Before the unprecedented unemployment claims started in March, the worst week for national unemployment claims was 695,000 in 1982.
The weekly report comes one day before the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics will release its monthly unemployment estimate for Massachusetts. The data being released on Friday covers the month of April and will give the most complete picture to date of the economic toll the shutdown of businesses had on the Massachusetts labor force.