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Unemployment claims skyrocket in state, nation

The number of Tennesseans who filed for unemployment claims for the week ending March 28 was 94,492, that’s nearly triple the 39,000 claims from the prior week and severely dwarfs the 2,702 claims from the week ending March 14, before the COVID-19 pandemic reached severe levels.

In Southern Middle Tennessee, which is a geographic area that encompasses Coffee, Franklin, Bedford, Moore, Lincoln and other counties west of Manchester, there were 8,147 claims. Not surprisingly, northern Middle Tennessee, which includes Davidson County, had 32,246 claims. There were 20,025 claims in East Tennessee and 12,548 in the greater Memphis area.

Across the country, more than 6.6 million new claims were filed last week. Coupled with the week prior, that’s 10 million claims in the past two weeks nationwide. Prior to COVID-19, the highest week for claims was 695,000 in 1982. In case you were wondering, the highest week during the Great Recession was 665,000 in March of 2009.

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