U.S. unemployment claims soared more than 1,000% last week to 3.28 million, the Labor Department reported on Thursday, March 26, as the CCP Virus pandemic engulfed businesses and the U.S. economy.
This is by far the largest number of jobless claims ever recorded for a single week since the government began collecting such data in 1967, according to Politico.
The number shatters the Great Recession peak of 665,000 in March 2009 and the all-time mark of 695,000 in October 1982, a data from CNBC shows.
Americans filed the record new jobless claims last week as businesses across the United States shut down amid a policy of social distancing aimed at keeping the CCP Virus in check.
According to the Labor Department, the increase in the jobless claims was heavily concentrated in the services industries, particularly accommodation and food services. States also reported increases in claims from workers in the health care, transportation and warehousing, and manufacturing sectors.
Asked on CNBC about the jobless claims, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin downplayed the report.
“I just think these numbers right now are not relevant. Whether they’re bigger or smaller in the short term … the good thing about this bill is, the president is protecting these people,” Mnuchin said.
Peter Navarro, the White House’s director of trade and manufacturing policy, told Fox News that the high volume of jobless claims “is totally expected” because of the administration’s push for social distancing to limit the spread of the virus.
“We put public health above economics in the very, very short run,” Navarro said. “This is no surprise. This is expected, and we should accept the news because we are doing what we need to do to combat the virus.”