BOSTON (CBS/AP) — The unemployment picture in Massachusetts hasn’t changed much over the past week, but the Commerce Department revealed Thursday that the United States economy has suffered a historic decline as the coronavirus pandemic in the country persists.
The latest federal numbers show there were 19,218 new unemployment claims in Massachusetts last week, up 580 from the previous week. There were also 14,850 claims for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, which covers independent contractors and “gig economy ” workers who are not in the traditional unemployment system. That’s an increase of almost 2,500 claims from the week before.
Nationally, the U.S. economy shrank at a dizzying 32.9% annual rate in the April-June quarter — by far the worst quarterly plunge ever — when the viral outbreak shut down businesses, throwing tens of millions out of work and sending unemployment surging to 14.7%, the government said Thursday.
The Commerce Department’s estimate of the second-quarter decline in the gross domestic product, the total output of goods and services, marked the sharpest such drop on records dating to 1947. The previous worst quarterly contraction, a 10% drop, occurred in 1958 during the Eisenhower administration.
Learn more about applying for unemployment benefits in Massachusetts here.
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