Biggest Unemployment Surge Ever: Record Weekly Claims Top 3.28 Million

March 26, 2020 / Sarah Hansen, Forbes Staff

Topline: Weekly jobless claims surged to 3.28 million this week, 3 million more than last week; it’s a sobering indication of just how badly the coronavirus has already impacted the American economy. 

  • Weekly jobless claims surged to 3.28 million, versus 1.5 million expected, for the week ending March 21.
  • This week’s numbers more than quadruple the previous weekly claims record of 695,000 in 1982.
  • The hotel industry has lost more than one million jobs since the outbreak began, according to the American Hotel & Lodging Association.
  • Last week, weekly unemployment claims surged 33% to 281,000 from 211,000 the week before; this was before layoffs related to the coronavirus outbreak had begun in earnest. 
  • Unemployment issues were front and center in the Senate last night: the $2 trillion economic relief bill stalled for hours after three Republican senators claimed its unemployment provisions, which would provide some workers $600 a week more in unemployment than their typical hourly wages, would incentivize Americans not to return to work.
  • The bill, which passed the Senate late last night and is now headed for the House, would also provide unemployment benefits for those not traditionally eligible, including self-employed workers and independent contractors.


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Josh Sandberg

Josh Sandberg is the President and CEO of Ortho Spine Partners and sits on several company and industry related Boards. He also is the Creator and Editor of OrthoSpineNews.

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