A Record 3.3 Million Americans Have Applied For Unemployment

The jump in applicants for unemployment was the largest in history, surpassing a previous record of 695,000 set in 1982.

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Nearly 3.3 million Americans applied for unemployment last week, the U.S. Department of Labor announced Thursday, as the coronavirus pandemic leaves workers and businesses uncertain about their financial futures.

The jump in applicants was the largest in history, surpassing a previous record of 695,000 set in 1982 during a severe global economic recession.

Workers who have been laid off reported waiting hours to apply for unemployment benefits as the large influx in traffic caused labor websites around the country to crash.

Because of the sudden, wide-ranging effects of the virus on industries across the country, economists are expecting many more job losses in the coming weeks.

“Last week’s spike in [unemployment insurance] claims is just the tip of the iceberg,” Heidi Shierholz, a former chief economist for the US Department of Labor tweeted on Thursday. “We estimate that by summer, 14 million workers will lost their jobs due to the #coronavirus shock.”

To help offset the financial strain that many Americans are facing, the Senate passed a $2 trillion relief package on Wednesday. Following the prospective passage of the act, also known as the “phase three” bill, many Americans will receive a $1,200 payment from the government, if they meet certain requirements.

In a CNBC interview on Thursday, Steve Mnuchin called the unemployment benefit metrics "not relevant," claiming that many Americans will get relief with the passage of the package.