Another COVID-19 Tally: Weekly Unemployment Claims Reach Record 3.3 Million — Highest Since 1982

With movie theaters, TV production, studios and related entertainment industries shuttered due to the coronavirus pandemic, the number of people in the United States filing unemployment claims nearly topped 3.3 million for the week ended March 21, according to new data from the Department of Labor.

By comparison, 282,000 people filed for unemployment in the previous week. It was the highest number of jobless claims filed since October 1982 when 695,000 people filed claims.

“Nearly every state providing comments cited the COVID-19 virus impacts,” the agency said in a statement.

The DOL said state quarantine mandates affected industries broadly, particularly hospitality and food services. Additional industries impacted included health care and social assistance, arts, entertainment and recreation, transportation and warehousing, and manufacturing.

“This marks the highest level of seasonally adjusted initial claims in the history of the seasonally adjusted series,” the government said.