United States unemployment claims hit record amid coronavirus lockdown

Marco Green
March 26, 2020

The Labor Department said Thursday that almost 3.3 million people filed for first-time unemployment claims in the week ending last Saturday. The total dwarfs the previous high of 695,000 from October 1982, according to the department, which released numbers for the week ending March 21 this morning.

The Labor Department's Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that initial jobless claims from two weeks ago had spiked 30%, to 281,000. Almost every state that offered comments cited the virus as the reason for the spike, the department said.

The drop came after New York, California, and several other states ordered a complete shutdown of all non-essential establishments as a social distancing measure to prevent further spread of the coronavirus. Entire sections of the economy have gone virtually dark in many places.

That number was five times greater than in any single weekly period of new filings since record-keeping began in 1967 - and it points to what many expect will be a dramatic increase in the jobless rate, possibly even into double digits later this spring.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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