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5.245 million more people filed initial claims for unemployment in the week ended April 11, the Labor Department reported this morning. That was down from the prior week’s 6.615 million (revised upwards from an initial report of 6.606 million.)  But it still brings the total to 22 million claims for unemployment in the last four weeks. That total wipes out just about all of the 22.8 million jobs added between February 2010 and February 2020 in the the rebound from the Great Recession.

As shocking as the week’s total is, it still undercounts recent job losses. Many state unemployment systems have crashed under the load, leaving unemployed workers unable to file. And even though the coronavirus rescue bill passed by Congress extended unemployment benefits to gig workers and independent contractors, most state systems haven’t yet been updated to allow those people to file. No one knows precisely how many gig workers and independent contractors there are in the U.S. economy (It’s one of those things that we’d rather not know, apparently, like the number of coronavirus deaths in U.S. long-term care facilities.) Estimates range from 25 million (ADP Research Institute) to 50 million (Pew Research Center.) Once those workers are actually able to file, I’d expect another big bump upward in the unemployment figures.

Calculations that extrapolate from current initial claims to the national unemployment rate put the national job rate at above 20%.