The ranks of the unemployed are swelling in ways not seen before. This week, a record-breaking 6.6 million people filed for unemployment.

Last week, more than 3 million Americans applied for unemployment benefits, as state-ordered coronavirus lockdowns have brought huge swaths of the economy to a halt. Not even during the peak of the Great Recession did the unemployment numbers come close to this latest spike, with 665,000 people applying for benefits the week of March 28, 2009.

Coronavirus checks, direct deposits are coming. Here’s everything you need to know.

The interactive chart below, dating back to 1967, shows the stunning surge in claims over the past couple weeks.


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