The number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak has doubled in just a week. According to Labor Department figures on Thursday, a record 6.6 million individuals filed for assistance, up from the revised 3.307 million that had been the previous record.
The jump is likely to cause the unemployment rate, currently at a nearly 50-year low of 3.5%, to soar when released on Friday, with some estimates reaching as high as 15%.
Making matters worse, this may not even be the complete picture, as many states’ employment websites are overwhelmed and can’t process all the claims.
BREAKING: US weekly jobless claims total 6.6 million, vs 3.1 million expected https://t.co/atkCqHjXy2
— CNBC Now (@CNBCnow) April 2, 2020