The torrent of Americans filing for unemployment insurance continued last week as more than 6.6 million new claims were filed, the Labor Department reported Thursday.
Economists surveyed by Dow Jones estimated 3.1 million, a week after nearly 3.3 million filings in the first wave of what has been a record-shattering swelling of the jobless ranks. The week ended March 28 totaled 6,648,000.
On an unadjusted basis, the total was 5.8 million, a number that some economists consider more relevant as seasonal adjustments are less relevant due to the unusual impact the coronavirus-induced shutdown has had on the U.S. economy.
Before the coronavirus shut down major parts of the U.S. economy, the highest week for claims was 695,000 in 1982. The Great Recession high was 665,000 in March 2009.
However, the sudden stop as the government has instituted social distancing policies caused a cascade of joblessness unlike anything the nation has ever seen.