U.S. jobless report: Record 3.28 million Americans filed claims last week

Unemployment rate is at its highest since the 1960s

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unemployed
Job fair hosted by the Los Angeles Mission in early March 2020
(Mario Tama/Getty Images)
Last Updated:
March 26, 2020 - 9:00am

The Labor Department reported Thursday that a record 3.28 million Americans applied for unemployment benefits last week.

The number reflects the impact of the coronavirus on industries including restaurants, hotels, gyms and more.

Thursday's numbers marks the highest number of unemployment claims in recorded history, and sends the unemployment rate to numbers that have not been seen since the 1960s.

The increased number of unemployment applicants resulted in hours-long waits on the phone with unemployment offices and website crashes in several states.

Economists predict another 1 million Americans will apply for unemployment benefits this week.

The true number of Americans who are now jobless due to economic turmoil caused by the coronavirus is likely much higher than 3.28 million, given the restrictions on who is able to apply for the benefit.

Until this month, U.S. employers had maintained a 113-month streak of adding jobs.