Why the horrific jobless claims report is actually worse

Clay Curtis
March 26, 2020

It's bad: Based on state data, Morgan Stanley thinks the USA government could announce Thursday that 3.4 million people filed for their first week of unemployment benefits last week.

The previous record was set in 1982, when unemployment claims hit 695,000. Almost every state that offered comments cited the virus as the reason for the spike, the department said.

Schools have been shut down and workers have been ordered home in multiple states.

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The number of unemployment claims this week skyrocketed by over 3,000,000 from the previous week, which saw 282,000 claims. But as the pandemic escalates, the government's ability to accurately tally these jobless claims has also been impacted. That was up from 2,229 reported in the state the week before.

Job losses are expected to continue in the weeks ahead. Nationally, 3.3 million people applied for unemployment insurance. But data from a local news outlet suggested filings could have been even higher, with that report noting claims for the week to March 17 totaled 30,000, or about ten times the weekly average.

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