CALIFORNIA  –  The wave of layoffs that has engulfed the U.S. economy since the coronavirus struck caused 5.2 million more people across the nation to seek unemployment benefits last week.

Roughly 22 million have sought jobless benefits in the past month — easily the worst stretch of U.S. job losses on record. All told, roughly nearly 12 million people are now receiving unemployment checks, roughly matching the peak reached in January 2010, shortly after the Great Recession officially ended.


"In the week ending April 11, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 5,245,000, a decrease of 1,370,000 from the previous week's revised level. The previous week's level was revised up by 9,000 from 6,606,000 to 6,615,000," read a release from the U.S. Department of Labor.

"The 4-week moving average was 5,508,500, an increase of 1,240,750 from the previous week's revised average. The previous week's average was revised up by 2,250 from 4,265,500 to 4,267,750."

Despite this surge in national numbers, California actually saw a slight drop with 660,966 claims filed last week, down from 918,814 the week before.

California Governor Gavin Newsom announced new initiatives to help workers laid off and otherwise impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak, including the creation of a new Employment Development Department call center that would be open seven day a week.