New weekly jobless claims soar to 3.3 million amid coronavirus outbreak

Unemployment Claims Expected To Shatter Records

Almost 3.3 million people registered to claim unemployment benefits for the week ended 21 March, according to Department of Labor data.

The numbers show that in Iowa, initial claims zoomed past 40,000. That's five times the previous record set in 1982.

The Department of Labor said, "Nearly every state providing comments cited the COVID-19 virus impacts".

Schools have been shut down and workers have been ordered home in multiple states. Nationally, 3.3 million people applied for unemployment insurance.


The number of Americans applying for jobless benefits soared to unprecedented levels last week as new government data put into stark relief the magnitude of the economic pain caused by the coronavirus outbreak.

In the Labor Department's report, claims filed in California and NY therefore "seem low given anecdotal evidence, which may indeed reflect issues with websites crashing and phone lines jammed and a general reluctance of people to stand in line with lots of other claimants in the current environment", Knightley said.

The question now is just how many people have been hit, with more job losses expected in the days and weeks to come. That figure is 2.9 million claims for non seasonally adjusted data.

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