A man speaks with a library worker after receiving an unemployment form in Hialeah, FL, April 8, 2020. (Marco Bello/Reuters)
We learned from today’s report on unemployment-insurance benefits that the job market is deteriorating rapidly and to an historic degree. In the six-week period ending last week, over 30 million workers filed for unemployment benefits for the first time. To put that in context, the worst six-week period during the Great Recession ended on March 28, 2009, with 3.9 million initial benefit claims.
But official government statistics on measures such the unemployment rate and the workforce-participation rate are produced with a lag, and what we have available is out of date. The most recent data available for those key measures capture a snapshot of the