Reflecting the shutdown of large swaths of the U.S. economy due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Labor Department released a report on Thursday showing a record spike in first-time claims for unemployment benefits in the week ended March 21st.
The Labor Department said initial jobless claims skyrocketed to 3,283,000, an increase of 3,001,000 from the previous week’s revised level of 282,000.
Economists had expected jobless claims to spike to about 1.5 million from the 281,000 originally reported for the previous week.
With the record-breaking increase, the number of seasonally adjusted initial claims reached the highest level in the history of the seasonally adjusted series. The previous high was 695,000 in October of 1982.
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