Million People File Jobless Claims, Smashing Previous Record Amid COVID-19 Outbreak

Andrew Cummings
March 26, 2020

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

Data from the U.S. Department of Labor shows that 3.28 million filed for unemployment benefits between March 15 and the 21st.

"During the week ending March 21, the increase in initial claims are due to the impacts of the COVID-19 virus", the department said at the top of their news release.

In California alone, more than a million people have applied for unemployment benefits this month, Gov. Gavin Newsom said Wednesday.

In the Labor Department's report, claims filed in California and NY therefore "seem low given anecdotal evidence, which may indeed reflect issues with websites crashing and phone lines jammed and a general reluctance of people to stand in line with lots of other claimants in the current environment", Knightley said.

The question now is just how many people have been hit, with more job losses expected in the days and weeks to come.

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