US unemployment benefits can now be received by both self-employed and independent contractors.
For the week ending March 28, the United States filed a record number of initial applications for unemployment benefits – 6.65 million. This is two times more than a week earlier, when 3.31 million applications were accepted, the US Department of Labor said.
The new figure is almost 10 times the record set before the current recession, triggered by the coronavirus pandemic and quarantine of US states and cities. In October 1982, for a week, 695 thousand people applied for benefits.
Goldman Sachs experts expected to see the number of applications at 6 million, Bank of America – 5.5 million, JPMorgan Asset Management – 2 million.
“The sharp increase in the number of applications for unemployment benefits reflects a significant and sudden deterioration in the situation on the labor market, as many enterprises face a sharp drop in consumer demand and are forcibly closing,” said Nomura economist Alexander Lewis.
The increase in the number of applications is also explained by the fact that, according to the law on the support of the economy in the fight against coronavirus, which has entered into force in the USA, both unemployed and independent contractors will receive unemployment benefits. Previously, they did not receive benefits.
Recall that for the week of March ending 21, alcohol sales in the United States grew by 55% in annual terms, research company Nielsen said. The rise in sales is explained by the fact that people are forced to stay at home because of the coronavirus pandemic and cannot visit the closed bars and restaurants.