Unemployment claims rose more than 1000 percent last week to 3.3 million, the Labor Department reported Thursday, as the coronavirus pandemic and government measures to limit its devastation brought huge swaths of the U.S. economy to a halt.
It was the largest number, by far, of unemployment claims ever recorded for a single week since the government began collecting this data in 1967, and analysts predict more eye-popping numbers in the coming weeks as layoffs and bankruptcies continue through a crisis that economists are starting to compare to the Great Depression of the 1930s.
The 3.3 million figure was seasonally adjusted. The raw numerical increase, 2.9 million claims, also shattered records. The previous record increase, in 1982, was about 700,000 claims.