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Unemployment Claims Soar

New unemployment numbers were released this morning by the U.S. Labor Department, and they are - as expected - not good.

A record 3.28 million Americans filed claims in the past week alone as the coronavirus crisis plunged the nation into a certain deep recession. Those numbers are 400 percent higher than the all-time record of 695,000 in 1982.

Economists expected just 1.5 million claims, although some of those forecasts were made before the pandemic started spiking and more states issued shutdown orders.

Claims had been expected to hit a record 1.5 million for the week, according to economists surveyed by Dow Jones.

Businesses across the nation have been shuttered as social distancing policies were put in place in an effort to slow the coronavirus infection rate.

Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell said we may "well be in a recession," but also stressed that "there's nothing fundamentally wrong with our economy."

"This is a situation where people are being asked to step back from economic activity, close their businesses, stay home from work," said Powell during an interview on NBC's Today Show. "In principle, if we get the virus spread under control fairly quickly, then economic activity can resume, and we want to make that rebound as vigorous as possible."

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