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By khosrork

In one week, 3.3 million Americans filed for unemployment, shattering previous records for applications in one week: For scope, the highest-ever weekly reading during the financial crisis was 665,000 applications in March 2009. Even more worrisome is that this influx of applications is likely to understate the actual unemployment levels, according to the Zillow Market Pulse for March 26. Many freelancers and contractors, including many in the construction industry, either do not qualify for benefits, or they do not know that they do. Find out more about how this will impact the economy and what central banks are doing to try to relieve the economic pressure.

An unfathomably large number of Americans filed for unemployment benefits last week, shattering all-time records. Central banks across the world continued to take unprecedented measures to support the economy. And China began to show some signs of recovery, though risks remain.

  • Almost 3.3 million Americans filed for unemployment benefits last week
    • The job losses erased about a year and a half of job growth in one week.
    • The number of applications was roughly five times more than any other week on record. Just two weeks ago, there were only 211,000 applications for jobless benefits nationwide.
  • Central banks continued to flex their muscles
    • The European Central Bank announced a new bond-buying program, with a focus on particularly at-risk economies in the European Union.
    • The massive U.S. stimulus bill – largely agreed upon, but not yet law – opens up trillions more dollars that the Fed can extend to borrowers big and small.
  • The U.S. economic slowdown widened
    • 46% of builders said they have noticed a “major” slowdown in buyer traffic due to the coronavirus, according to a National Association of Home Builders survey.
    • The Kansas City Fed Manufacturing index fell to -17, its lowest reading since April 2009.

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