Kellyanne Conway: Record-high jobless claims are ‘shocking but not surprising’

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In the wake of the coronavirus outbreak, White House Chief strategist Kellyanne Conway said on Thursday that the surge of Americans filing for unemployment to 3.28 million last week is “tough.”

“These are shocking but not surprising,” Conway told “Outnumbered Overtime.”

“Everybody warned us that it would be this bad and I think extraordinary unprecedented times yield unprecedented numbers like this,” Conway said.

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But, Conway said that it also “yields unprecedented measures like the emergency coronavirus stimulus.”

The jobless claims shattered a decades-old record in claims as the coronavirus pandemic forced businesses around the country to shutter their doors.

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The number eclipsed the previous record of 695,000 set in 1982 and is well above the levels seen in the midst of the 2008 financial crisis, the Labor Department said in its weekly report. The data dates back to 1967.

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Estimates varied drastically for how high the number of people who applied in mid-March for unemployment benefits would be, ranging from 1 million to 2.25 million Americans who lost their jobs during the period between March 15 and March 21, but economists agreed it would be grim.

The four-week moving average was 1,731,000, an increase of 27,500 from the previous week’s revised average.

Fox News’ Megan Henney contributed to this report.

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