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The Dow Jones dropped over 100 points on Thursday shortly after the start of today’s session as the Labor Department reported that initial jobless claims in the United States doubled to 6.6 million last week.
Shares on Wall Street started the session on Thursday mixed after the Department of Labor released defeating data on a record 6.6 million people in the United States filing for unemployment benefits last week amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The report showed that the figures for the week ending March 28 are 3,341,000 above the previous week’s revised level and the highest-ever in the history of the report. Combined with the previous week, about 10 million people filed for unemployment benefits due to the coronavirus shutdown.
Record Number of Job Cuts
The seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate was 2.1% for the week ending March 21, an increase of 0.9% compared to the previous week’s unrevised rate. Seasonally adjusted insured unemployment during the same week was 3,029,000, a jump of 1,245,000 from the previous week’s revised level. The 4-week moving average was 2,053,500, up 327,250 from the previous week.
But, of course, that’s not all. Challenger, Gray & Christmas Inc, said in a press release earlier today that the number of jobs cuts in the United States surged by 292% amid the COVID-19 pandemic, The number of slashed jobs in March was 222,288 which compares to 56,660 in the month.
The current jump in job cuts marks the largest increase since 2009. Year on year job cuts increased by 267%. The number of reduced jobs does not include furloughs and a total of 141,844 jobs were lost as a result of the ongoing pandemic, the report said.
Millions of Workers Have Filed for Unemployment
Senior vice president of Challenger, Gray & Christmas Inc Andrew Challenger said:
“The virus has caused total whiplash for HR, hiring managers, and recruiters. The labor data for February showed a strong economy with a tight labor market. Companies were fighting for talent across industries. Now, millions of workers have filed for unemployment, companies have frozen hiring, and in many cases, cut operations or closed completely.”
Amid other (lousy) the Census Bureau said in a press release that the United States international goods trade deficit shrunk to $39.9 billion in February, a $5.6 billion decrease from last month’s revised number of $45.5 billion. February exports stood at $207.5 billion, down $0.8 from last month, while imports dropped $6.7 billion to $247.5 billion in the same period. The goods deficit decreased to $61.2 billion and services surplus fell to $21.3 billion.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average opened 0.66% in the red. Walmart Inc (NASDAQ: WMT) fell by 0.60%. The Nasdaq 100 fell 0.14%. Starbucks (NASDAQ: SBUX) was up by 8.05%. The S&P 500 stood flat at the opening bell. Carnival Corp (NYSE: CCL) was the worst performer falling 4.34%. The euro declined 0.976% at 9:50 am ET, selling for $1.08577.
However, fastly after opening, the Dow Jones dropped over 100 points or 0.21% at 10:04 am ET. A minute later, the Nasdaq 100 and the S&P 500 traded flat as well.