The US Department of Labor announced that the number of applicants for unemployment benefit increased by 5.2 million last week, raising the total number of applications submitted during the last month to more than twenty million.

The US Department of Labor said today, Thursday, according to what Russia Today reported, that new applications for unemployment benefits last week amounted to 5.245 million, a slight decrease from the revised figure of 6.615 million in the previous week.

According to a Reuters survey of economists, the number of new jobless claims was expected to drop to 5.105 million in the week ending April 11.

Estimates in the survey reached high levels, amounting to 8 million.

The report came on the heels of weak data on Wednesday that showed a historic decline in retail sales in March and the largest decline in factory production since 1946.