U.S. Unemployment Claims Hit Record 3.28 Million Last Week Amid Coronavirus Pandemic

U.S. unemployment claims last week hit a historic 3.28 million, the U.S. Department of Labor said Thursday, as the economic devastation of the coronavirus crisis continues to unfold.

The figure shattered the previously record of weekly jobless claims from October 1982 of 695,000.

The losses reported Thursday, as entire industries have ground to a halt, were worse than analyst consensus estimates of 1.5 million and threatened to erase this week’s stock market gains. A Goldman Sachs report last week predicted 2.25 million unemployment claims, while Citigroup had pegged upwards of 4 million.

The Labor Department’s Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that initial jobless claims from two weeks ago had spiked 30%, to 281,000. Moody’s Analytics has projected 5 million-6 million job losses for the month of March 2020, per Fortune.

Analysts haven’t fully scoped out the consequences of the economic recession resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, but the evidence emerging so far is stark.

Big media conglomerates are facing on average an 11% hit to revenues and a 19% plunge in earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization over the 2020-2022 period, according to a report by Cowen & Co. released Wednesday. “We expect U.S. advertising spend to rise 6-7% annually in ’22-’25, but don’t expect a significant step-up in any given year, hence somewhat permanent damage from COVID-19 event,” Cowen lead analyst John Blackledge wrote.

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