United States jobless claims skyrocket to 3.2 million as coronavirus hits the economy

US sees new single week record for number of jobless claims due to virus shutdown

The Labor Department said Thursday that almost 3.3 million people filed for first-time unemployment claims in the week ending last Saturday.

The number of unemployment claims this week skyrocketed by over 3,000,000 from the previous week, which saw 282,000 claims.

It's the highest level of initial claims the Labor Department has on record since it began adjusting the figures to account for seasonal variations.

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The report affirmed economists' fears that the coronavirus outbreak and ensuing social distancing measures to contain it have forced businesses to let workers go at a record clip.

Layoffs are sure to accelerate as the US economy sinks into what most economists expect to be deep and painful recession. And in NY, the domestic epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak, a rush of people seeking jobless claims last week crashed the state's labor department website. That was up from 2,229 reported in the state the week before.

Job losses are expected to continue in the weeks ahead.

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