As the coronavirus crisis kept businesses closed and workers furloughed, Hoosiers filed 133,639 initial unemployment claims last week, down slightly from the 139,174 filed the previous week but still near an unprecedented high.
It remains nearly five times higher than during the Great Recession.
The previous high for unemployment claims was 27,937 on Dec. 27, 2008, according to the Department of Workforce Development.
In Lake County, residents filed 6,973 initial unemployment claims in the week that ended April 4, up 4,125.5% as compared to the same time a year ago.
Porter County residents filed 2,423 initial unemployment claims last week, a 4,006.8% year-over-year jump, according to Hoosiers by the Numbers. LaPorte County residents filed 1,461 initial unemployment claims last week, which skyrocketed by 3,552.5% as compared to the same time a year earlier.
Nationally, Americans filed 6.6 million initial unemployment claims last week, according to the Department of Labor. Jobless claims in neighboring Illinois shot up to 200,940, as compared to 178,421 the week prior. Michigan saw a surge to 384,844 jobless claims in the week that ended April 4, up from 304,335 the previous week.
Local economists have warned that, amid widespread shutdowns aimed at stopping the virus that's infected more than 1.5 million people nationwide, unemployment could reach around 15%, a height not seen since the Great Depression.