UNEMPLOYMENT claims have soared by three million in a single week as layoffs amid the coronavirus outbreak hit the US economy.
Labor Department figures show the number of those filing for unemployment benefit rose to 3.28 million last week, up from 281,000 the week before.
The rise is the highest ever recorded, quadrupling the last record of 695,000, set the week ending 2 October 1982.
The outbreak and regional lockdowns has seen bars, restaurants, theatres, leisure centres, and airlines cease trading across the country.
Economists have forecast the rate of unemployment could reach as high as 13 percent in May.
That would exceed the last peak of 10.0 percent reached in October 2009 following the financial crash the previous year.
The unemployment rate has been stable at around 3.5 percent since September last year.
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