Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware recorded more than 631,000 unemployment claims last week as the nation posted more record-setting jobless numbers amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Pennsylvania estimated some 405,880 people filed for unemployment benefits during the week ending March 28, making it one of the leaders in the nation in claims, second behind only California. New Jersey reported 206,253 unemployment claims, while Delaware reported 18,987.
Those numbers, however, are unadjusted for seasonal variations, and likely an undercount.
The three states’ unemployment claims are among the more than 6.6 million filed by the rest of the country, according to the U.S. Labor Department. Unemployment in the nation has skyrocketed in recent weeks as industries are forced to shut down and "nonessential" workers are kept from going to jobs due to stay-at-home orders.
The pandemic has infected more than 217,000 people and killed more than 5,000 in the United States as of Thursday, according to a Johns Hopkins University case tracker.
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As of Thursday, Pennsylvania has recorded more than 7,000 cases and 95 deaths. New Jersey has been especially ravaged, with more than 25,000 infections and 537 deaths. And Delaware, much smaller than the two aforementioned states, has recorded at least 368 cases and 11 deaths.
Government leaders and health care professionals have said the surge in COVID-19 infections is still yet to come, which could drive the unemployment rate even higher.
The Labor Department said nearly every state has cited the outbreak as a driving force behind its unemployment claims.