Unemployment passes 30m with last week's 3.8m new filers

3.8m workers signed on for the first time last week, bringing America's unemployed headcount to 30m. The number of new filers was down from 4.4m last week, a slow dropoff that suggests layoffs will continue at an unprecedented scale for weeks to come.

Roughly 30.3 million people have now filed for jobless aid in the six weeks since the coronavirus outbreak began forcing millions of employers to close their doors and slash their workforces. That is more people than live in the New York and Chicago metropolitan areas combined, and it's by far the worst string of layoffs on record. It adds up to more than one in six American workers.

With more employers cutting payrolls to save money, economists have forecast that the unemployment rate for April could go as high as 20%. That would be the highest rate since it reached 25% during the Great Depression.

They aren't even packaging charts with these stories anymore, because it's just a flat line that becomes a vertical line at the end and no-one wants to look at it anymore.