Even as talk of reopening parts of the US economy dominates the news, much of the country remains shuttered because of coronavirus-related lockdowns. While COVID-related unemployment claims seem to have peaked, the number of people filing initial unemployment claims in the US last week was still high, reaching 3.8 million. That brings the total number of claims over the past six weeks to over 30 million, equal to about 1 out of every 5 US workers. The surge in unemployment claims is boosting the overall unemployment rate (which tells you the percent of work-ready people who are looking for a job). The current official rate is now 4.4%, but that records data only up to mid-March. Some economists now warn that when the more recent jobless claims are taken into account, the national unemployment rate could exceed 20 percent in the near term. Here's a look at the historical context.