Data: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics via FRED; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios
Another 6.6 million Americans filed for unemployment last week, the Labor DepartmentannouncedThursday.
Why it matters:It adds to thestaggering 10 million jobless claimsin recent weeks — by far the sharpest spikes in American history — as the world economy has ground to a halt in an effort to contain the coronavirus outbreak.
The once-again colossal number of filings was worse than the 5 million that Wall Street had expected.
Last week’s unemployment claim numbers, which government data hadpegged at 6.65 million, were revised upward to 6.87 million — the highest ever recorded.
The big picture:The data lags by a week, so while a large portion of the economic shutdown is now evident over the last three weeks, there may still be more huge numbers yet to come.
The $2.2 trillion coronavirus stimulus package opened the door to a surge of new unemployment filings, allowing the self-employed and independent contractors to claim benefits.