More than 3 million Americans file for unemployment

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According to data from the federal agency, more than 3 million Americans filed for unemployment last week. 

  • Graph pulled from NPR
    Graph pulled from NPR
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According to a March 26 news release from the U.S. Department of Labor, more than 3 million Americans filed for unemployment between March 15 and 21.

“During the week ending March 21, the increase in initial claims are due to the impacts of the COVID-19 virus,” the release reads. “Nearly every state providing comments cited the COVID-19 virus impacts. States continued to cite services industries broadly, particularly accommodation and food services. Additional industries heavily cited for the increases included the health care and social assistance, arts, entertainment and recreation, transportation and warehousing, and manufacturing industries.

“In the week ending March 21, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 3,283,000, an increase of 3,001,000 from the previous week's revised level. This marks the highest level of seasonally adjusted initial claims in the history of the seasonally adjusted series. The previous high was 695,000 in October of 1982. The previous week's level was revised up by 1,000 from 281,000 to 282,000. The 4-week moving average was 998,250, an increase of 765,750 from the previous week's revised average. The previous week's average was revised up by 250 from 232,250 to 232,500. 

“The advance seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate was 1.2 percent for the week ending March 14, unchanged from the previous week's unrevised rate. The advance number for seasonally adjusted insured unemployment during the week ending March 14 was 1,803,000, an increase of 101,000 from the previous week's revised level. This is the highest level for insured unemployment since April 14, 2018 when it was 1,824,000. The previous week's level was revised up 1,000 from 1,701,000 to 1,702,000. The 4-week moving average was 1,731,000, an increase of 27,500 from the previous week's revised average. The previous week's average was revised up by 250 from 1,703,250 to 1,703,500.”