Over 6.6 million Americans applied for unemployment benefits last week, breaking a record high for the second week in a row as more states and cities enforce stay-at-home measures in an attempt to stop the spread of the coronavirus.
“In the week ending March 28, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 6,648,000, an increase of 3,341,000 from the previous week’s revised level,” the Department of Labor (DoL) said in its weekly claims report.
The record-shattering numbers bring the number of Americans who filed for unemployment in the past two weeks to nearly 10 million.
Analysts are already warning the jobless numbers will likely continue to rise in the coming weeks as mandated social distancing policies remain in place.
“Four years of job gains have evaporated in the span of two weeks,” said Daniel Zhao, senior economist at Glassdoor. “Today’s report is a one-two punch for an economy reeling from the coronavirus outbreak. As more states and localities shut down non-essential businesses to preserve public health in response to the coronavirus outbreak, initial claims are likely to continue to produce eye-popping reports.”
Lawmakers are looking to provide relief to laid-off workers with a $2 trillion relief bill, which was signed by President Trump last week. In addition to giving adults who earn less than $99,000 annually up to $1,200 cash checks, the bill expanded unemployment benefits.
You can view the full report on unemployment claims by the Department of Labor here.