NEW YORK — The last three weeks have marked one of the most devastating periods in history for the American job market, as first-time claims for unemployment benefits have surged more than 3,000% since early March.
Businesses continue to lay off and furlough workers amid the coronavirus outbreak. 6.6 million U.S. workers filed for their first week of unemployment benefits in the week ending March 28 — a new historic high. According to the New York Times, the scale of the job losses, in such a short time, is without precedent. Until last month, the record for unemployment filings was 695,000 in 1982.
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