Tomorrow's jobless claims data will shine a bright light on the ugly economic fallout from the coronavirus crisis.
Economists expect 1 million people to have filed for unemployment benefits in the week ended March 21, which would be the highest figure ever recorded. But the number could be even higher. Goldman Sachs (GS) estimated more than 2 million people have filed claims. Morgan Stanley (MS) and the Economic Policy Institute expect as many as 3.4 million claims.
State labor departments across the the country are struggling to cope with the influx of claims.
The coronavirus outbreak has forced businesses across the country to shut down and lay off workers, at least temporarily.
Following tomorrow’s report, investors will attempt to quantify the total losses to be experienced, and the corresponding impact on the unemployment rate," said Jonathan Golub, chief US equity strategist at Credit Suisse. "While neither is knowable, an extremely rough rule of thumb would be a 1% increase in the unemployment rate for every 1.5 million jobs lost."
The US Department of Labor will release the weekly claims data tomorrow at 8:30 am ET.