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The Department of Labor reported Thursday that claims had jumped to 3.28 million for the week ending March 21. The previous high (since the DOL began tracking such data back in 1967) was the 1982 peak of 695,000 in October of that year.
"During the week ending March 21, the increase in initial claims are due to the impacts of the COVID-19 virus," the DOL said in a news release on Thursday. "Nearly every state providing comments cited the COVID-19 virus impacts. States continued to cite services industries broadly, particularly accommodation, and food services. Additional industries heavily cited for the increases included the health care and social assistance, arts, entertainment and recreation, transportation and warehousing, and manufacturing industries."
Economists, per a CNN Business report on the latest history-setting unemployment numbers, are now expecting the U.S. economy to slip into a recession in the second quarter. A supposed "comeback," economists have also speculated, could hit later in the year when and if the novel coronavirus spread starts to slow down.
Late Wednesday, the Senate passed a $2 trillion coronavirus relief package that will now head to the House for an expected Friday morning vote.
The legislation boasts one-time direct payment to individuals, loans and grants to businesses, and more. Trump has already said he would immediately sign off on the legislation after it passes Congress. More efforts from Congress are likely, with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell having previously said lawmakers should be flexible in terms of scheduling.