The number of jobless claims hit 5.24 million in the week ending on April 11, according to the Labor Department’s report that was released on Thursday morning.
With this new number, the total number of job losses over the last month has reached nearly 22 million, indicating that virtually all jobs gained after the 2008 recession have been wiped out.
Economists have estimated that the job losses have pushed the unemployment rate to about 15%, rivaling that of the Great Depression.
The latest jobless numbers come a day after news that U.S. retail sales saw a record drop in March as stores across the country have been shuttered.
Unemployment has soared as the COVID-19 outbreak forces most businesses to remain closed to prevent the virus from spreading further. A record 6.8 million jobs were lost by early April amid the pandemic.