California unemployment: 6.7M claims filed since start of COVID-19 pandemic

Another 1.48 million Americans filed for unemployment benefits, the Labor Department said on Thursday. That figure is more than experts projected but slightly less than last week. 

But, California's numbers paint an even darker outlook for the Golden State. When it comes to California's job bleed out, the state needs a far bigger and tighter tourniquet.

This week California's Employment Development Department received another 287,000 in unemployment claims. And 86,000 more residents, not covered by state unemployment, filed for federal pandemic relief. 

"That's over 6.7 million unemployment claims filed in California since the start of the pandemic," said labor lawyer and former EDD Director Michael Bernick.

Though national claims declined a bit from last week, California's bleed out of jobs is increasing. 

"We represent about 11 to 12 percent of the civilian labor force nationwide. This morning our claims are over 20% of all the claims filed nationwide," said Bernick. 

Rehirings are not significant compared to the huge and continuing layoffs and business closures. And many who were furloughed, awaiting a call back to work, are now being laid off. 

"This is so far, so far in the stratosphere, beyond anything we've seen in the post World War II period," said Bernick.

In March, the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis projected that 47 million Americans would lose their jobs. On Thursday, the number reached 47.25 million, and the bleeding looks to continue for weeks or months to come.