Coronavirus economic updates: 3.2 million people filed for unemployment

(NEW YORK) — The coronavirus pandemic has quickly evolved from a health crisis to a financial one, shuttering businesses, upending entire industries and sending financial markets reeling.

Here’s the latest news on how the COVID-19 crisis is affecting the economy:

Weekly unemployment filings reach new record

A record-number of people — 3,283,000 — filed for unemployment claims in the week ending March 21, according to U.S. Department of Labor data released Thursday.

That’s an increase of three million from the previous week.

The coronavirus pandemic has forced thousands of businesses to close amid government-mandated stay-in-place orders. The outbreak has especially hit the food, service and retail industry hard.

The new staggering figure comes as the unemployment rate was near a 50-year low just weeks ago.

The previous highest week on record was 695,000 unemployment filings in 1982.

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