Unemployment Claims Spike to 3.28 Million, New Record High

by Mike ‘Mish’ Shedlock
Mish Talk

Initial unemployment claims spiked to 3,283,000. That’s nearly 5 times the previous high.

Employers added jobs for a record 113 months through February but that streak will end with a bang in the March as a Record 3.28 Million File for U.S. Jobless Benefits.

“We haven’t seen this big of a free fall before,” said Keith Hall, former director of the Congressional Budget Office and adviser to President George W. Bush. “Not even during the Depression…It’s really like an instant Great Recession.”

Northern Trust Chief Economist Carl Tannenbaum said if half the workers in hard-hit industries, such as restaurants, retail and personal services, are laid off the unemployment rate could rise 10 percentage points, to more than 13%. That is well above the post World War II record high of 10.8% at the end of the 1981-82 recession.

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