More than 6.6 million Americans filed unemployment claims last week as more businesses were forced to lay off and furlough workers because of the coronavirus pandemic.
"This marks the highest level of seasonally adjusted initial claims in the history of the seasonally adjusted series," the U.S. Department of Labor said in a news release.
The 6.6 million claims for the week that ended March 28 is a 99.4 percent increase over the prior week, when 3.28 million unemployment claims were filed.
Non-essential businesses in at least 32 states have been forced to shut down as state and city governments have issued stay at home orders to try to reduce the spread of COVID-19.
Hotels, entertainment venues, casinos, hair salons, barber shops and many other businesses are closed in the majority of the country.
California saw the most number of claims filed for the week ending March 28 with 878,727. That's up 692,394 over the prior week, when 186,333 unemployment claims were filed.
Pennsylvania saw the next most claims filed with 405,880, up 28,429 over the week ending March 21.