Another 6.6 million people filed for unemployment benefits last week, according to grim new data released by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) today. Those numbers bring the total of people currently unemployed in the U.S. to a shocking 16.78 million—a confirmation of the devastating effect the COVID-19 pandemic is having on the economy. (For comparison, in 2008, the height of the last recession, there were 2.6 million Americans out of work.)
According to the DOL, the largest increases in initial claims for the week ending March 28 were in California (871,992 new claims), New York (286,596 new claims), Michigan (176,329 new claims), Florida (154,171 new claims), Georgia (121,680 claims), Texas (120,759 new claims) and New Jersey (90,438 new claims). The largest decreases were in Nevada, Rhode Island and Minnesota.