More than 4.4 million people in the US filed for unemployment benefits last week, taking the total job losses since 21 March to 26 million.
The coronavirus has now essentially erased the post-financial crisis job boom, which saw 22 million jobs created between September 2010 and February 2020.
The Labor Department said that 4.427 million more people applied for unemployment benefits for the first time last week, down from 5.237 million the week before. The peak of the job losses appears to have been during the week ending 28 March, when 6.867 million filed for unemployment.
Some Republican-led states such as Georgia have begun re-opening their economies this week, despite warnings from health experts.