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During the week that ended on July 4, 1.3 million people filed for unemployment insurance. That capped off a 16-week period during which a total of 50 million individuals filed a claim, largely because of the closure of much of the economy to mitigate the effects of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Each of those 16 weeks generated more claims than the pre-pandemic record of 695,000, which was set in the week that ended on October 2, 1982.
The chart below shows the latest unemployment insurance claims in their historical context.Learn more about the fiscal policy response to the COVID-19 pandemic