The COVID-19 unemployment plunge is, yet again, like nothing we've ever seen before.
More than 6.6 million Americans filed initial jobless claims last week, the Labor Department reported Thursday, adding to the record 3.3 million who filed the week before. That leaves at least 9.9 million people out of work, far higher than the 2008 Great Recession's peak of 7.7 million as new coronavirus cases continue to grow. And as The Atlantic's Derek Thompson pointed out with a graph from the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, that means the labor market "is contracting at the rate of one Great Recession per 10 days."
At unemployment's peak post-Great Recession, there were 7.7 million more officially unemployed people than before the downturn.
In the last two weeks, 9.9 million ppl filed initial jobless claims.