Weekly initial unemployment claims skyrocketed by approximately 3 million in the week ended March 21, an increase of 1,064%, because of the Covid-19 pandemic, the US Department of Labor reported today citing seasonally adjusted numbers.
There were nearly 3.3 million initial claims in the week ended March 21. In the previous week, there were only 282,000.
The surge marks the highest-ever level of seasonally adjusted initial claims for unemployment insurance, according to the Department of Labor data. The previous high in initial claims was 695,000 in October 1982.
The Department of Labor attributed the increase in claims to the Covid-19 pandemic, which impacted nearly every state. Services industries such as accommodation and food services were particularly hit.
“We’ve known this number was coming for a week and a half,” Tom Gimbel, founder, and CEO of Chicago-based staffing firm the LaSalle Network told CNBC. “It doesn’t surprise me at all. When you see a city like Las Vegas get shut down, I don’t know what other options there were then seeing a number like this.”
Other affected industries include healthcare and social assistance; arts, entertainment and recreation; transportation and warehousing; and manufacturing.
“This large increase in unemployment claims was not unexpected, and results from the recognition by Americans across the country that we have had to temporarily halt certain activities in order to defeat the coronavirus,” said Secretary of Labor Eugene Scalia.
Some economists believe today’s jobless claims number could be revised higher.
First Published: https://www2.staffingindustry.com/Editorial/Daily-News/Weekly-US-initial-jobless-claims-skyrocket-by-1-064-53264
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