4.87 million Americans are now collecting unemployment checks each week, a dubious record to be sure. If there’s a positive spin it’s that as a percentage of the workforce, we’re merely at a 25-year high:
AP: A department analyst said that as a proportion of the work force, the tally of unemployment recipients is the highest since August 1983.
The total released by the department doesn’t include about 1.7 million people receiving benefits under an extended unemployment compensation program authorised by Congress last summer. That means the total number of recipients is actually closer to 6.5 million people.