Apr 9, 2020 - Economy

Another 6.6 million jobless claims filed last week amid coronavirus crisis

Data: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics via FRED; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

Another 6.6 million Americans filed for unemployment last week, the Labor Department announced Thursday.

Why it matters: It adds to the staggering 10 million jobless claims in recent weeks — by far the sharpest spikes in American history — as the world economy has ground to a halt in an effort to contain the coronavirus outbreak.

  • The once-again colossal number of filings was worse than the 5 million that Wall Street had expected.
  • Last week's unemployment claim numbers, which government data had pegged at 6.65 million, were revised upward to 6.87 million — the highest ever recorded.

The big picture: The data lags by a week, so while a large portion of the economic shutdown is now evident over the last three weeks, there may still be more huge numbers yet to come.

  • The $2.2 trillion coronavirus stimulus package opened the door to a surge of new unemployment filings, allowing the self-employed and independent contractors to claim benefits.
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