An estimated 6.6 million Americans filed for unemployment last week, smashing the previous record set the week prior, when 3.3 million filed for unemployment. Prior to March 2020, the previous high was 695,000.
The numbers are exploding on the backs of preventative measures that have closed a number of businesses due to COVID-19.
“The COVID-19 virus continues to impact the number of initial claims,” the U.S. Department of Labor said in a statement. “Nearly every state providing comments cited the COVID-19 virus.”
“States continued to identify increases related to the services industries broadly, again led by accommodation and food services,” the statement continued. “However, state comments indicated a wider impact across industries. Many states continued to cite the health care and social assistance, and manufacturing industries, while an increasing number of states identified the retail and wholesale trade and construction industries.”
Keller Williams Chief Economist Ruben Gonzalez said he expects to see record unemployment claims persist for several weeks.
“The most important thing right now for both real estate and the overall economy is that we keep working on providing adequate disaster relief aid to those individuals and businesses whose income is being lost due to the shutdown necessary to fight the spread of Covid-19,” Gonzalez said, in a statement,
“Making sure that these individuals continue to have income is going to prevent unemployment from spilling into industries that could otherwise continue to operate, and help ensure that a strong recovery is possible after the pandemic has come to an end,” Gonzalez added. “In terms of real estate, it is important that we see continued efforts to keep people in their homes and that they are not penalized for the impacts of this crisis on their livelihoods.”