They are record-setting numbers that no one on Wall Street or Main Street could even fathom just a few short weeks ago.
And there's more to come.
Some 10 million Americans have filed for unemployment insurance benefits in the past two weeks, shattering all records, the U.S. Department of Labor reported on Thursday, as the coronavirus pandemic brought the U.S. economy to a standstill.
The U.S. Labor Department said that jobless claims for the week ended March 28 tallied 6,648,000. That followed last week's report of 3.3 million Americans being out of work and having filed for jobless claims.
Economists from the likes of Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley had been predicting anywhere from 3 million to 5.5 million jobless claims through the second week of a near-nationwide shutdown in economic activity that extended to cover more than two-thirds of the country.
The increase in unemployment claims is set to drive up the unemployment rate, which was hovering near a 50-year low of 3.5% as recently as February, by several percentage points.
The Labor Department will release March's nonfarm payrolls figures on Friday. The numbers are expected to only reflect the start of the unprecedented explosion in unemployment wrought by the coronavirus's impact on the U.S. and global economies.
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