3.28 million people filed for unemployment in U.S. during coronavirus pandemic
UNITED STATES (ABC News) – A record number of people, 3.28 million, filed for unemployment claims in the week ending March 21, according to U.S. Department of Labor data released Thursday.
That’s an increase of 3 million from the previous week.
The coronavirus pandemic has forced thousands of businesses to close amid government-mandated stay-in-place orders. The outbreak has especially hit the food, service and retail industry hard.
The new staggering figure comes as the unemployment rate was near a 50-year low just weeks ago.
The previous highest week on record was 695,000 unemployment filings in 1982.
“The coronavirus outbreak is a truly unprecedented event in American economic history, flash-freezing the economy by forcing businesses to shut down and putting millions of American workers out of jobs,” Glassdoor’s Senior Economist Daniel Zhao said in a statement Thursday responding to the news.
“Most historical comparisons of this scale are inadequate. The closest would be natural disasters like major hurricanes,” he added. “However, as today’s report shows, the coronavirus outbreak is economically akin to a major hurricane occurring in every state around the country for weeks on end.”
This comes as the Senate has passed a multi-trillion dollar COVID-19 relief bill on Wednesday.
House of Representatives will look at the bill on Friday and President Trump has indicated he will sign it into law.