The coronavirus crisis has resulted in the worst unemployment spike in American history
05/29/2020 // Tracey Watson // Views

President Trump has been pushing hard for some time now for governors to throw away the keys on their states’ lockdowns and get the economy moving – and fast.

There can be no doubt that President Trump is under immense pressure to provide financial relief for the American people. His stress levels can certainly not be helped by the relentless wave of unemployment figures which get bleaker with each passing week.

As reported by The Economic Collapse Blog (ECCB), the COVID-19 epidemic has now resulted in the biggest spike in unemployment numbers in U.S. history, with a quarter of all Americans filing for unemployment benefits since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

And with the threat of a second peak of infections looming in the background, it is a very real possibility that these numbers will continue their record-breaking streak. (Related: Coronavirus pushes unemployment to highest levels since the Great Depression.)

An ‘unprecedented tsunami of job losses’

As reported by the ECCB, President Trump’s plan to push for the reopening of the economy has had little effect on the employment situation of the American people – at least not yet:

On Thursday, we learned that another 2.4 million Americans filed initial claims for unemployment benefits during the previous week, and that brings the grand total for this pandemic to a whopping 38.6 million. …

This is the biggest spike in unemployment in all of U.S. history by a very wide margin, and analysts are expecting another huge number once again next week.


The ECCB’s Michael Snyder warns that the country is facing “something truly horrific.” (Related: Thousands of desperate Americans line up at food banks as coronavirus unemployment toll skyrockets.)

Statistics indicate that 152,436,000 Americans were employed back in February. The 38.6 million Americans who have applied for unemployment in just the few weeks since then, represent a whopping – and terrifying – 25 percent of that figure.

So, one-in-four jobs has been lost since the start of the COVID-19 outbreak, and with the economy “open,” but in most cases not running anywhere close to 100 percent of where it should be, the stark reality is that we might only be seeing the tip of the iceberg.

Snyder notes, for example, that though Georgia was one of the first states to lift its lockdown restrictions, it is now the state with the highest percentage of its workforce applying for unemployment benefits.

While the figures for those claiming benefits for the first time are certainly high, they do not reflect the whole picture, because there are many who have lost their jobs, but who for one reason or another have not claimed for unemployment assistance.

And then there is the reality that many who have not lost their jobs outright have nonetheless had to take drastic pay cuts or accept reduced working hours.

The Daily Mail reported:

Nearly half of Americans say that either their incomes have declined or they live with another adult who has lost pay through a job loss or reduced hours, the Census Bureau said in survey data released Wednesday. 

More than one-fifth of Americans said they had little or no confidence in their ability to pay the next month´s rent or mortgage on time, the survey found. 

The coronavirus has certainly left President Trump – and by extension the American people – with very few choices. Reopen the economy and you risk wave after wave of infections and deaths, but leave the nation in lockdown and you will certainly see those already historic unemployment figures skyrocket even further. What an incredibly difficult time to be the president of the United States.

Learn more about the economic devastation wrought by the COVID-19 epidemic at

Sources for this article include:

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