Record 6.6 Million Jobless Claims Filed Last Week

The New York Times reports:

More than 6.6 million people filed new claims for unemployment benefits last week, the Labor Department said Thursday, setting a grim record for the second straight week.

Added to 3.3 million claims for the week ending March 21, it means nearly 10 million people have filed for unemployment benefits in two weeks. The speed and scale of the job losses is without precedent. Until last month, the worst week for unemployment filings was 695,000 in 1982.

“What usually takes months or quarters to happen in a recession is happening in a matter of weeks,” said Michelle Meyer, chief U.S. economist for Bank of America Merrill Lynch.