Industry Update
External Article23 March 2020

U.S. Jobless Claims Could Top Record 1.5 Million Next Week: Economists

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A wave of layoffs at restaurants, bars and hotels, as efforts to contain the coronavirus pandemic bring much of everyday American life to a halt, could drive new applications for U.S. unemployment benefits to a record 1.5 million or more next week, economists warned on Thursday.

New jobless claims already hit a two-and-a-half year high of 281,000 last week, jumping by 70,000 from the week before, the Labor Department said on Thursday. It was the biggest weekly increase since 2012 and officials laid the blame on the coronavirus, which a Reuters tally shows has infected nearly 9,500 across the country, killing at least 115.

And the worst is yet to come.

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