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A Quarter of Americans Have Sought Unemployment

Americans seeking unemployment benefits increased by nearly three million last week, bringing total jobless claims to 36 million––nearly a quarter of the American workforce of about 156 million. “Today’s unemployment claims continue their ascent on a cumulative weekly basis; not since the Great Depression has the US job market been in such a sorry state,” said Richard Flynn, UK managing director at Charles Schwab.

As employers cut more than 20 million jobs in April, the unemployment rate skyrocketed to an official 14.7% and rising.

The majority of job seekers believe that finding a job is harder today than just a couple months ago, and workers feel less secure about their position, and are more worried about losing their jobs. More than half of the workers today are stressed out, with many going sans food due to a lack of money.

54% of respondents are concerned about losing a job, compared to 30% two months ago. 73% of respondents see finding a job this year harder, compared to 48% who felt this way two months ago. 44% believe it is much harder than the 23% in February. 47% of workers are afraid to lose their job at some point this year when compared to the 28% needed in February.

Demographic categories are affected, in particular females, with 48% finding it “much harder” to find a job than it was six months ago, compared to 21% two months ago. In the current job climate, nearly half of workers are planning to have a second source of income outside of their 9-5 jobs.