Unemployment Claims Top 6.6 Million

The new figures, released this morning, come on the heels of the previous week's record of almost 3.3 million.
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The U.S. Department of Labor’s weekly unemployment claims report, released on Thursday morning for the week ending on March 28, showed a total of more than 6.6 million initial claims, doubling from last week. This comes on the heels of the previous figure of almost 3.3 million, itself an unprecedented record in the history of the seasonally adjusted series. The advance figure for seasonally adjusted insured unemployment for the week ending on March 21 topped 3 million, the highest level since mid-2013. 

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California’s unemployment claims nearly quadrupled from the previous week, now at almost 880,000. Meanwhile, the state of New York went from 80,000 claims to more than 366,000, while the Florida figure went up more than 200 percent, to 227,000. These figures are not seasonally adjusted.

Recession in the making

Heading into the second quarter, the new figures, an early indicator of things to come both for the economy in general and commercial real estate, represent just one piece in a complex and rapidly shifting puzzle.

With federal social distancing guidelines extended throughout April and likely to be pushed further, industry experts are sizing up the effects, expecting a clearer image as the month advances. Or, as Savills Chief Economist Heidi Learner commented for a recent Commercial Property Executive piece, “I would not expect the unemployment rate to spike for the month of March but would say that all bets are off for April.”