An absolutely stunning number of Americans applied for new unemployment benefits last week: 6.65 million.
The previous week, 3.3 million people applied for new unemployment benefits, which had blown through the previous nearly four-decade-old record by approximately three-fold. This means that approximately 6.3% of working Americans applied for initial unemployment in the past two weeks as the coronavirus pandemic caused job losses across the country—creating a sudden spike in joblessness that the U.S. has never before seen.
The highest hit states were:
- California: 878,727
- Pennsylvania: 405,880
- New York: 366,403
- Michigan: 311,086
According to the Department of Labor’s weekly news release, “nearly every state providing comments” cited COVID-19.