The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefit claims skyrocketed to an unprecedented 3.28 million last week. The figure destroyed the previous record of 695,000 claims filed in October 1982, and is up from just 281,000 earlier in the month. The numbers, released by the Labor Department on Thursday morning, are one of the first indications of the havoc the coronavirus pandemic has caused in the U.S. and global economies. The figures are much worse than most economists expected ahead of the announcement, and are firm evidence that millions of households across America are under severe financial strain.
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