US jobless claims soared to record 3.3 million over coronavirus shutdown

US unemployment claims rocketed to a record 3.3 million last week as a result of the widespread economic shutdown caused by coronavirus.

The dramatic figure comes after tough restrictions aimed at curbing the pandemic led to a wave of redundancies and signalled the likely end to the longest employment boom in US history.

The surge in weekly applications – more than quadruple the previous record set in 1982 – reflects the damage the outbreak is doing to the economy, the scale of lay-offs threatening to speed up the decline into recession.

Revenues have collapsed at restaurants, hotels, cinemas, gyms, and airlines.

Car sales have also plummeted and manufacturers have shut factories.

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