Based on these figures, the number of applications in the last three weeks exceeded 10 million.
Last week the number of claims for unemployment benefits in the U.S. reached a record 6.5 million, the Department of Labor said on Thursday.
Based on these figures, the number of claims over the past three weeks exceeded 10 million and more employees are expected to apply for benefits in the coming weeks.
The number of applications in the last two weeks is higher than in the first six months of the recession in 2008.
Some American economists predict that between 25 and 40 million Americans will be unemployed by July amid a recession in the second quarter. The total workforce is 165 million people.
In some states, the influx of applications has caused an overload in the institutions that handle them. Those who wish to apply both in person and electronically have to wait for hours in line. In a number of states, including New York and Oregon, sites processing applications are out of order.
The previous week’s record for unemployment claims, 695,000, was recorded in 1982 when the country experienced a spike in inflation.
First place in the number of applications was taken by the State of California, where last week 879,000 people applied for benefits. Second place went to the state of Pennsylvania, with 406,000 applications, and third place went to the neighboring state of New York with 366,000 applications.
On Friday, the U.S. government will publish updated data on the unemployment rate in the country. Although the data is expected to reflect an increase from 3.5 percent, which has been relatively stable over the past six months, it is almost certain that the statistics will be inaccurate as government data only cover the period until early March, i.e. before mass layoffs and company closures began.