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The Covid-19 Pandemic

by Brew Editors12:26 pmApr 9, 20200

Jobless claims continue unprecedented climb in Baltimore region and the U.S.

“It’s the Great Depression II,” says an economist about unemployment totals arising from the coronavirus pandemic

Above: Laid off by Amazon, Susan Henderson reads a book yesterday, sitting under the Jones Falls Expressway in Baltimore. (Louis Krauss)

More than 108,000 Marylanders applied for unemployment insurance during the week ending April 4, according to figures released today by the Maryland Department of Labor.

The number represents a 29% jump in applications over the previous week when more than 84,000 residents applied for unemployment.

Marylanders have filed more claims in the last five weeks (241,014) than they did during the entirety of 2019 (214,475), Mike Ricci, a spokesman for Gov. Larry Hogan, said today.

With 16,791 jobless applications last week, Baltimore County residents filed the most of any jurisdiction in Maryland. That number was up 26% from the previous week’s 13,352 total.

In Baltimore City, 10,691 residents applied for unemployment last week, a 23% increase from the 8,685 the week before.

Jobless claims swamp Maryland, leaving applicants waiting and worrying (4/8/20)

Other county-by-county claims in the March 29-April 4 period:

Anne Arundel – 10,573 claims
Carroll – 2,979 claims
Frederick – 4,555 claims
Harford – 4,752 claims
Howard – 5,736 claims
Montgomery – 15,751 claims
Prince George’s – 13,339 claims

U.S. unemployment claims have skyrocketed amid the 2020 coronavirus outbreak. This graph shows initital claims that are not seasonally adjusted. (U.S. Department of Labor)

U.S. unemployment claims have skyrocketed amid the coronavirus outbreak. This graph shows initial claims filed from April 2018 through March 2020. (U.S. Department of Labor)

More than a Recession

Nationwide, 6.6 million Americans filed for unemployment last week, bringing the total number of claims since the coronavirus pandemic began to more than 17 million workers.

According to former Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen, the current number of unemployed is 12-13% of the workforce.

“It looks like the unemployment rate is headed to 15%,” said Chris Rupkey, chief economist at MUFG Bank in a note to clients.

“This isn’t a recession, it’s the Great Depression II,” he said, adding, “The country is literally shutting down.”

Those seeking information about unemployment insurance in Maryland can click here.

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