The number of initial applications for unemployment benefits in the United States for the week ended March 21, jumped by a record 3.001 million from the previous week’s revised figure of 282 thousand and amounted to 3.283 million, the Labor Department said on Thursday.
Analysts polled by Reuters expected an increase of 1.65 million from the previous week’s initial level of 281 thousand. At the same time, the forecast previously assumed an increase of 1 million applications but was revised within a minute before publication.
The Ministry of labor of the country specified that this growth is the highest in the entire history of observations. Until today, the maximum indicator was an increase of 695 thousand in October 1982. The release clarifies that the current dynamics are due to the situation with the spread of COVID-19 coronavirus. On March 11, the World Health Organization declared the outbreak of a new COVID-19 coronavirus infection a pandemic. According to the latest WHO data, more than 414 thousand people have been infected in the world, and more than 18 thousand have died.
At the same time, the average number of initial applications over the past four weeks increased by 765.75 thousand, to 998.25 thousand, from the revised figure of the previous week of 232.5 thousand. The initial figure was 232.25 thousand.
The number of people receiving unemployment benefits in the United States for the week ended March 14, increased by 101 thousand from the revised figure of the previous week, to 1.803 million people. The figure was the highest since April 2018, when the number of people receiving unemployment benefits reached 1.824 million. The previous figure was revised up to 1.701 million from 1.702 million.
The US Department of Labor publishes data on the number of initial jobless claims weekly. This indicator reflects the number of people who applied for benefits for the first time during the reporting week.