Jobless claims hit record high

Initial jobless claims hit nearly 3.3 million last week - twice as bad as expected and smashing the previous record as the COVID-19 outbreak takes its toll on businesses. NBC's Chris Pollone reports.

(NBC News) Nearly 3.3. million Americans filed jobless claims last week, a dire snapshot of just how quickly the coronavirus pandemic has devastated the nation’s businesses and workers.

Still, Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell is reassuring the country that the economy will bounce back.

“we will get the spread of the virus under control, at that time confidence will return, businesses will open again people will come back to work,” Powell says.

He spoke hours after the Senate reached agreement on a $2 trillion economic relief bill to help people and businesses blindsided by the coronavirus outbreak.

The Senate bill will send direct payments to Americans whose earnings fall under certain limits, $1,200 for individuals, $2,400 for families, plus an extra $500 for every child.

It also includes loans for corporations and small businesses, with incentives to keep workers on the payroll, relief for the nation’s hospitals, and expanded unemployment benefits which would mean four months of full paychecks for laid off workers.

The bill now moves to the House, where a vote is expected Friday.

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