WASHINGTON DC – With the coronavirus pandemic shutting down businesses across America, a record 3.28 million individuals filed for unemployment benefits last week.
“This marks the highest level of seasonally adjusted initial claims in the history of the seasonally adjusted series,” the U.S. Labor Department said.
The previous high was 695,000 in October of 1982.
The U.S. Labor Department’s records go back only to 1967.
New claims filed last week were nearly five times the number recorded during the peak of the Great Recession of 2009. For the final week of March 2009, about 665,000 new claims were filed. This was the second-highest week ever.
Earlier this week, the U.S. Senate approved a $2 trillion economic relief package that expands unemployment benefits, including gig workers and freelancers. A U.S. House vote is Representatives vote is expected by Friday.