Americans filed initial unemployment claims in the past two weeks – a record total that some analysts believe doesn’t truly capture the severity of America’s coronavirus-induced economic crisis.

Reports have cropped up in recent days that state unemployment insurance officials have been overwhelmed with requests, as businesses shed payroll expenses in a bid to keep the lights on while the virus keeps much of the country under some form of lockdown.

“We think that bottlenecks in processing at the state level may be causing some underreporting of claims, so figures in the weeks ahead may reflect some amount of catching up,” Nancy Vanden Houten, lead economist at Oxford Economics, wrote in a research note on Thursday.

The Labor Department on Thursday reported more than 6.6 million Americans filed initial claims last week – a number Vanden Houten describes as “incomprehensible.” That more than doubles the previous record, which was reached just a week earlier, when 3.3 million initial claims were recorded. Claims during the past two weeks stand several multiples larger than the previous weekly high of 695,000 that was recorded during 1982.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the states that lead the country in unemployment spikes are mostly the same high-population states that have seen the largest number of coronavirus diagnoses to date. More than 1 million Californians filed initial claims last week and the week prior. More than 446,000 New Yorkers did the same, according to data from the Labor Department and the Economic Policy Institute.

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