Record-shattering 6.6 million Americans file for unemployment due to COVID-19 pandemic

iStock/Gwengoat(NEW YORK) — As COVID-19 tightens its stranglehold on the American economy, the U.S. Department of Labor announced Thursday that an additional 6,648,000 people filed for unemployment in the week ending March 28.  This is roughly three million more cases since last week’s report.

The previous high, before the COVID-19 pandemic, was set in 1982 with 695,000.

The pandemic has forced numerous “non essential” businesses to shutter and force other businesses to reduce the amount of employees at their respective jobs or work from home.  

The service industry has shed the most employees due to the pandemic, followed by the accommodation and food industry.  Other hard-hit industries were health care, manufacturing, retail, social assistance and construction.

Prior to the outbreak, President Donald Trump touted that the employment rate had reached a 50-year low.

Despite the depressing numbers out of the DOL, the stock market saw improved numbers on Thursday.  

The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 450 points, over two percent, while the S&P 500 and Nasdaq gained 2.3 percent and 1.7 percent, respectively.

The rise was due to soaring oil prices, which transpired shortly after President Trump assured that Saudi Arabia and Russia were about to end their price war.  

The president claimed on Twitter, “Just spoke to my friend MBS (Crown Prince) of Saudi Arabia, who spoke with President [Vladimir] Putin of Russia, & I expect & hope that they will be cutting back approximately 10 Million Barrels, and maybe substantially more which, if it happens, will be GREAT for the oil & gas industry!”

However, a representative of Putin claimed no such call took place and prices for Brent crude oil spiked over 23 percent.  U.S. benchmark oil jumped over 24 percent. 

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