Categories: Coronavirus

COVID-19 Triggers Record-Breaking Spike In US Unemployment Claims

A record 3.28 million people claimed U.S. unemployment benefits last week as the coronavirus continued to make its way throughout much of the world, shuttering businesses and reducing incomes, the U.S. Department of Labor reported Thursday (March 26). That’s a 3 million increase from the week before.

“This marks the highest level of seasonally adjusted initial claims in the history of the seasonally adjusted series. The previous high was 695,000 in October of 1982,” the Labor Department said in releasing the numbers.

The agency said initial claims for unemployment benefits rose in all states, with almost all of them pointing to the coronavirus pandemic as the cause. California had the largest increase, followed by Washington state, Nevada and Pennsylvania.

The industries most heavily affected included food services, transportation, entertainment and recreation, among others.

Mark Hamrick, senior economic analyst at Bankrate.com, said that “this explosion of first-time claims for unemployment benefits, topping 3 million, demonstrates the toll unprecedented efforts to contain the deadly coronavirus outbreak take on the job market. While the record number of claims is shocking, it is not totally surprising. For days now, we’ve heard how state systems were overwhelmed by the rush to file claims as people were thrown out of work.”

Still, U.S. stock futures, which had been down before the numbers came out, actually improved a bit following the report’s release.

For instance, Dow Jones Industrial Average futures rose from 20,645 (-381 points) just before the release to 20,710 (-316 points) shortly afterward and kept on rising from there. The Dow opened higher an hour after the report came out and was up a sharp 826 points, or 3.9 percent, at 22,026.84 by 10:30 a.m. ET.

Still, the Dow and other major market indexes around the world have tumbled since the coronavirus outbreak began to sweep the West, as this chart shows:

For an in-depth analysis of the pandemic’s economic impacts to date, check out PYMNTS’ special COVID-19 coverage here.

Get our hottest stories delivered to your inbox.

Sign up for the PYMNTS.com Newsletter to get updates on top stories and viral hits.

——————————

PYMNTS LIVE ROUNDTABLE: TUESDAY, JULY 14, 2020 AT 12:00 PM (ET)

Digital transformation has been forcefully accelerated, but how does that agility translate into the fight against COVID-era attacks and sophisticated identity threats? As millions embrace online everything, preserving digital trust now falls mostly on banks and FIs. Now, advances in identity data and using different weights on the payment mix afford new opportunities to arm organizations and their customers against cyberthreats. From the latest in machine learning for fraud and risk, to corporate treasury teams working in new ways with new datasets, learn from experts how digital identity, together with advances like real-time payments, combine to engender trust and enrich relationships.

Recent Posts

Combating ATOs With Multifactor Authentication, Behaviors Analysis And Customer Education

Much has been said about the viability of biometrics for guarding against bad actors, but financial institutions (FIs) cannot simply…

55 mins ago

How Self-Serve Onboarding Is Powering Real Estate Deals

The pandemic has fundamentally changed all aspects of real estate, and time-consuming procedures like onboarding and ID verification for prospective…

1 hour ago

Logistics, Supply Chain Tech Lead B2B Funding This Week

Taulia, a B2B FinTech startup, made headlines this week thanks to reports that the company is raising funds from Ping…

1 hour ago

How Cannabis Can Become A B2B Payments Innovation Influencer

The legal cannabis market's financial services challenges are, by now, well-known. For several years, while state-level legalization has expanded, access…

1 hour ago

Deep Dive: How Utilizing AP Automation Tools Can Help SMBs Endure Financial Strains

Cash flow is king, especially for small- to medium-sized businesses (SMBs). These firms often have less funding than their larger…

2 hours ago

Punjab National Bank Faces Third Major Fraud In As Many Years

Punjab National Bank shares fell by nearly 6 percent late Thursday (June 9) after it was defrauded $491 million by…

2 hours ago