"To put in some perspective, for the week of March 7, just three weeks ago, a total of 43,385 initial claims were filed in California", he said.
The data was adjusted as all states reported a surge in claims for the previous week, with the largest increase seen in Pennsylvania (more than 300,000), OH and MA. The unprecedented flood in claims is likely just the first wave in a tsunami of negative economic statistics that will reflect the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak.
"In the last two weeks, almost 10 million have filed for UI - and that's just the tip of the iceberg".
Nationally, there have been about 9.9 million unemployment claims in the past two weeks.
Pennsylvania cited "Layoffs in the transportation and warehousing, accommodation and food services, administrative, support, waste management and remediation services, and healthcare and social assistance industries".
Statewide in 2019, there was a total of 5,266 unemployment claims.
Some economists estimated that by the end of April, as many as 20 million people in the United States will have lost their jobs.
"We are constantly updating our systems to handle the claims", said Tara Hutchinson, Public Information Officer with Alabama Department of Labor. Governor Cuomo issued an apology for that earlier. Through innovative thinking, strategic partnerships and high-quality training, we have made New York's workforce the best in the nation, and we will continue that work.
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Also, telephone claim center hours have been expanded and is now open on Saturday.
"I have spent the last twenty years studying the labor market and have never seen anything like it. Unemployment insurance claims for the last two weeks are mind-blowing", she wrote.
On a national scale, Fred Mackara, an associate professor in the department of economics and finance at East Tennessee State University, said new claims are a leading indicator of economic conditions: A declining number of new claims typically predicts good outcomes.