Number of jobless claims soared to historical record 3.3 millions this week
When the spread of coronavirus forced many businesses across the country to shut down, employees have to quit their jobs. It has led to that the number of the Americans field for the first week of unemployment benefits rose to a record.
According to the Department of Labor, initial jobless claims increased to 3.28 million in the week ended March 21. And this number is expected to grow in more millions the next weeks, the economists say.
The previous highest number of jobless claims filed was fixed in the week ending October 2, 1982 and it reached to 695,000.
"Most historical comparisons of this scale are inadequate. The closest would be natural disasters like major hurricanes. However, as today's report shows, the coronavirus outbreak is economically akin to a major hurricane occurring in every state around the country for weeks on end," Glassdoor senior economist Daniel Zhao wrote in emailed comments.
The prior week this number was 282,000 claims. Many business owners declare that firing the workers is a temporarily measure and the businesses will “hopefully be able to hire back a lot of those people.”
Heidi Shierholz, a former chief economist for the US Department of Labor who is now with the Economic Policy Institute, called the surge in unemployment claims just the tip of the iceberg.
"We estimate that by summer, 14 million workers will lost their jobs due to the coronavirus shock," she said in a tweet.
Economists now expect the US economy to fall into a recession in the second quarter, before staging a comeback later in the year after the spread of the virus slows.