U.S. unemployment claims surged to a record 6.65 million for the week ended March 28, according to the Department of Labor. That tops a previous mark set the week before as the coronavirus continues to take a devastating toll on the U.S. labor market.
California had the highest number of claims with 878,727, followed by Pennsylvania and New York.
There were a revised 3.307 million claims filed the week ending March 21. That brings total U.S. claims to nearly 10 million in two weeks. Both weeks were records. Last week was “the highest level of seasonally adjusted initial claims in the history of the seasonally adjusted series,” the DOL said. The previous week’s level was revised up by 24,000 to 3,307 million. The reporting week runs Thursday to Thursday.
Entertainment as one of the industries hardest hit. Every facet of the business has slowed or halted with shows halted, movie theaters shuttered and furloughs and layoffs from talent agencies to production crews. Companies across the sector are grappling with how to deal with a steep and sudden drop in revenue. Some have announced layoffs and others are attempting salary cuts across the board. In some cases, CEOs have agreed to forego salaries and companies from Sony to Comcast to WarnerMedia have announced funds to help employees who find themselves unexpectedly out of work.
The shocking numbers are likely to increase pressure on the Trump Administration to expand the $2.2 trillion aid package that was signed last week. It includes enhanced benefits for unemployed workers and businesses. Economists have warned that the $350 million for small businesses isn’t enough.
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