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The coronavirus crisis has hit Americans hard, and as a result, the number of unemployment benefits claims in the past week has spiked to around $3.28 million according to the Labour Department. This incredible figure shows that the coronavirus epidemic has affected people in the most unexpected way.

Unemployment claims jumped to over 3 million

This is the highest number of unemployment claims filed in the US since 1982 when “initial” claims were around 695,000. Two weeks ago, before the number of cases of coronavirus began to rise and states imposing the stay-home decree, the number of unemployment claims was around 282,000, which still was higher than anticipated. This set of data released by the Labour Department is an indication of the economic impact of the COVID-19 epidemic and how fast it has hit people.

According to consensus estimates the number anticipated was around 1.5 million new employment benefit claims, but individual projections on Wall Street indicated that the number could have been much bigger. The coronavirus outbreak has slowed down the economy, and several people are staring at the unknown as lockdowns continue.

Number of claims will continue rising

Michelle Meyer, the Bank of America’s head of US, said that the surge in claims shows the extent of the downturn and how it is accelerating. It an indication of the unusual nature of this downturn because it is a sudden plunge into crisis relative to previous recessions where the impact took time to be witnessed. She says that the number of claims could continue in the coming weeks. Initially, economists’ forecasts ranged at around 4.4 million, but this was before seasonal fluctuations adjustments as filings had been touted to be below 3 million.

There was an increase in claims across all 50 states including the District of Columbia with at least nine states reporting a surge if around 100,000 claims from the previous week. Pennsylvania saw the biggest surge in claims to around 378,900.  Some states have even reported crashing of websites as people rush to file claims.