A record 6.6M Americans file for unemployment benefits as coronavirus wreaks havoc on economy

CLOSE The coronavirus (COVID-19) is impacting the global economy and raising fears of a recession. What causes a recession and what are the signs? USA TODAYFor the second straight week, millions of new layoffs underscored the staggering toll the coronavirus pandemic is taking on America’s workers.A record 6.65 million Americans filed first-time jobless claims last week,…

A record 6.6M Americans file for unemployment benefits as coronavirus wreaks havoc on economy

CLOSE

The coronavirus (COVID-19) is impacting the global economy and raising fears of a recession. What causes a recession and what are the signs?

USA TODAYFor the second straight week, millions of new layoffs underscored the staggering toll the coronavirus pandemic is taking on America’s workers.A record 6.65 million Americans filed first-time jobless claims last week, the Labor Department said Thursday, in a sign the sudden shutdown of a vast swath of U.S. commerce may be just starting to wreak havoc on the economy.The total is double the previous week’s claims tally of 3.3 million, which was revised up by a modest 24,000. A stunning 10 million workers have sought unemployment benefits in just two weeks, exceeding the nearly 9 million who lost jobs from 2008 to 2010 amid the Great Recession.Economists surveyed by Bloomberg estimated that 3.5 million Americans filed initial claims last week. The applications represent the nation’s most accurate gauge of layoffs and furloughs.Last week’s total is about tenfold the 695,000 weekly unemployment insurance claims in October 1982, which was the previous record before the dismal numbers of the past two weeks.”The labor market is in a historic free fall,” says Nick Bunker, director of economic research for the hiring lab at Indeed, the online job search giant.Accommodation and food services continued to lead the industries pummeled by layoffs, followed by health care and manufacturing, Labor said. More sectors are starting to be affected as a growing number of states cite retail and wholesale trade and construction.Layoffs hurt some states more: Which states will be hit hardest by coronavirus-related job losses? See the list.About 879,000 workers filed claims in California, a massive total t
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