The USA’s Labour Department has released figures showing a rise in the number of people who filed claims for unemployment last week, reaching 3.3 million claims.
Figures come as the nation combats the COVID-19 pandemic, topping 69,000 confirmed cases and shitting down large parts of America’s economy, the Guardian reports.
The number of claims beats a previous record of 695,000 in October 1982.
According to the Labour Department, claims by those seeking unemployment benefits spiked to 3.28 million, from 281,000 the previous week.
The Guardian reports that across the US, those made redundant have overwhelmed state labour departments with claims for benefits.
New York City, which accounts for roughly 5 per cent of global Coronavirus cases, has experienced a 1,000 per cent increase in claims, media reports show.
Last week’s jump in unemployment marks an end to a historic 101 consecutive months where US employers have added jobs. In March, the unemployment rate was 3.5%. a 50-year low.