Record 6.6 million Americans file unemployment claims, nearly doubling prior week’s total

More than 6.6 million Americans filed unemployment claims in the last week of March as more businesses layed off and furloughed workers because of the economic shutdown resulting from the coronavirus.

“This marks the highest level of seasonally adjusted initial claims in the history of the seasonally adjusted series,” the U.S. Department of Labor stated in a news release.

The 6.6 million claims for the week ending March 28, represent a 99.4 percent increase over the prior week, when 3.28 million unemployment claims were filed.

Non-essential businesses in at least 32 states have been forced to shut down as state and city governments have issued stay at home orders to try to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

Hotels, entertainment venues, casinos, hair salons, barber shops and many other businesses are closed in the majority of the country.

California reported the greatest number of claims filed for the week ending March 28 of 878,727– an increase of 692,394 from the previous week, when 186,333 unemployment claims were filed.

Pennsylvania saw the next most claims filed with 405,880, up 28,429 over the week ending March 21.

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