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3.3 Million U.S. Workers Filed For Unemployment Last Week, Obliterating Previous Record

  • U.S. unemployment rates spiked almost ten times their normal rate to 3.3 million new claims in one week.
  • This figure corresponds to 2% of all U.S. workers — 1 in 50.
  • Last weeks claims shatter the previous record of 695,000 in October 1982.

Unemployment claims have skyrocketed to unprecedented levels, data released Thursday reveal. New claims for the week ending March 31 exploded to almost 3.3 million, up from 282,000 the week before — an almost 12 fold increase.

Thursdays numbers obliterate the previous record of 685,000 set in October of 1982 — an almost 5 fold increase.

Last week’s unemployment numbers also dwarf claims made in the aftermath of the 2008 Financial Crisis. During the Great Recession, when the highest number of claims in one week topped out at 665,000 in the week of March 28 2009.

The scale of unemployment claims last week is truly monumental. The figure of 3.3 million workers corresponds to 2% of the entire U.S. work force. This means 1 in 50 of all U.S. workers filed for unemployment last week alone.

The spike in claims is the first set of employment data following the historic quarantines enacted by Federal and State governments in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The new figures come after the Senate last night passed an historic $2 trillion economic stimulus rescue package aimed at stabilizing the economy. The bill now moves to the House.

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