Last week, nearly 3.3 million people applied for unemployment benefits amid the widespread economic shutdown caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
The number shattered the previous record of 695,000 set in 1982 and is well above the levels seen in the midst of the 2008 financial crisis, the Department of Labor (DOL) said in its weekly report.
“In the week ending March 21, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 3,283,000, an increase of 3,001,000 from the previous week’s revised level. This marks the highest level of seasonally adjusted initial claims in the history of the seasonally adjusted series. The previous high was 695,000 in October of 1982,” DOL’s report stated.
As job losses rise, some economists say the nation’s unemployment rate could approach 13% by May. By comparison, the highest jobless rate during the Great Recession, which ended in 2009, was 10%.
You can view the full news release by the Department of Labor here.