WASHINGTON, DC–With the country on lock down due to the coronavirus outbreak, the U.S. Labor Department is reporting a record-breaking total of 3 million unemployment claims.
This is the largest number of unemployment claims since the government started collecting date in 1967,the previous high was 695,000 in October of 1982.
Across the country state labor departments are struggling to deal with the sudden influx in unemployment benefit claims.For example, the Florida’s Department of Economic Opportunity said it planned to hire 100 extra staff to help walk people through the application process and help answer calls.
The New York Labor Department has hired more than 65 additional staff to handle all the claims that are suddenly pouring in.
Economists are expecting the US economy to fall into a recession before starting a comeback later in the year,after the virus slows its spread.
A $2 trillion dollar stimulus package passed last night unanimously in the Senate and is on its way to the House. Once passed and signed by President Trump, “Americans could start getting relief checks from the government within three weeks,” Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said to CNBC.