Federal Update: As U.S. Coronavirus Deaths Cross 100,000, Black Americans Bear Disproportionate Share of Fatalities, 2.1 Million File Jobless Claims but Total Unemployed Shrinks

May 28, 2020

  • Black Americans continue to make up a disproportionate share of COVID-19 fatalities as the number of deaths from the coronavirus pandemic exceeds 100,000 in the United States, according to an analysis of data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Nearly 23% of reported Covid-19 deaths in the U.S. are African American as of May 20, even though black people make up roughly 13% of the U.S. population, according to racial demographic information on COVID-19 cases and deaths from the CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics.
  • Another 2.1 million Americans filed first-time claims for unemployment benefits last week, the lowest total since the coronavirus crisis began. Economists surveyed by Dow Jones had been looking for 2.05 million. Continuing claims, or those who have been collecting for at least two weeks, numbered 21.05 million. That number dropped by 3.86 million from the previous week. The insured unemployment rate, which is a basic calculation of those collecting benefits vs. the total labor force, fell sharply to 14.5% from 17.1% the previous week.

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