(The Center Square) – U.S. Dept. of Labor figures released Thursday morning report another 3.8 million U.S. workers filed unemployment claims in the week ending April 25.

This brings the total number of out-of-work Americans to more than 30 million, or 12.4 percent of the national workforce.

Wisconsin residents filed 55,883 unemployment claims last week, compared to 50,981 the previous week, a week-over-week decrease of 14,117.

“The advance seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate was 12.4 percent for the week ending April 18, an increase of 1.5 percentage points from the previous week’s revised rate,” a Department of Labor news release noted. “This marks the highest level of the seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate in the history of the seasonally adjusted series.”

The largest increases in initial claims for the week ending April 18 were in Florida (+326,251), Connecticut (+68,758), West Virginia (+31,811), Louisiana (+12,270), and Texas (+6,504), while the largest decreases were in New York (-189,517), California (-127,112), Michigan (-85,500), Georgia (-72,578), and Washington (-60,980).

Florida led the nation with more than 432,000 new unemployment claims for the week ending April 25, and Washington state had the biggest jump on a percent basis with a 75 percent rise.

Many experts believe the U.S. economy has slipped into recession, although that won’t be definitively determined until there are two consecutive quarters with a decline in GDP, a metric designed to quantify the combined economic output of the nation’s economy.

Data from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis released Wednesday indicates that the U.S. economy shrank by 4.8 percent in the first quarter of 2020, the worst such decline since the fourth quarter of 2008 when the nation was headed toward what’s now known as the “Great Recession.”

Many states, including Wisconsin, are working on implementing phased reopening plans to start allowing some sectors of the economy to begin reopening in the weeks ahead. Gov. Tony Evers has emphasized that any such reopening would have to be done in such a way that it doesn’t cause a surge in new COVID-19 cases, and signs of such a resurgence would require the return of shutdown restrictions.

Bruce Walker is a regional editor at The Center Square. Reposted with permission.

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