The U.S. economy is in absolute free fall, with the latest sign of economic collapse coming in the form of new unemployment claims, which skyrocketed to 6.6 million just a week after claims were reported at 3.1 million. In other words, in the past two weeks, 10 million Americans have filed for unemployment as the national shutdown due to the coronavirus pandemic continues to wreak havoc.

CNBC notes that financial experts had expected this week’s claims to decrease:

“Economists surveyed by Dow Jones had expected 3.1 million for last week, one week after 3.3 million filings in the first wave of what has been a record-shattering swelling of the jobless ranks. The previous week’s total was revised higher by 24,000.”

Liz Ann Sonders, chief investment strategist at Charles Schwab, warned that the future doesn’t look bright as it relates to the U.S. economy:

“Sadly, this probably still underestimates the actual numbers because of the overload in the systems and not every call getting through. Even if we’re accurately calculating the numbers, we still likely have worse to come.”

Especially hard hit by the business slowdown are those at the low end of the wage scale.

John Harwood, a business reporter for CNN, said things are getting worse by the day for the American economy:

“We have pulled the plug out from the American economy, and the result is an economic catastrophe. How long is it going to last? That depends on the public health answer to this situation. You know, we talked about in the past, in the last few days, certainly when we had last week’s numbers that the federal — both in terms of the Federal Reserve and the fiscal response from Congress — is like relief efforts during hurricane. This is a nuclear bomb that has been dropped on the American economy.”

There has been talk in Washington of yet another economic stimulus bill which would focus on funding infrastructure projects as a way of pulling the economy out of the doldrums. Both President Donald Trump and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) have expressed support for such a plan, but Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY)   about such a plan, remarking:

“I think we need to wait a few days here, a few weeks, and see how things are working out.

“Let’s see how things are going and respond accordingly. I’m not going to allow this to be an opportunity for the Democrats to achieve unrelated policy items that they would not otherwise be able to pass.”

Featured Image Via CBS News