According to the latest figures from the Department of Labour, new unemployment claims reached 5.25 million in the week ending 11 April.
The previous week saw 6.6 million applications.
Much of the US population is under some form of lockdown because of the coronavirus pandemic, bringing the US economy to a virtual halt and forcing businesses big and small to lay off employees.
There are projections that the unemployment rate could reach 20% this month.
The US has almost 640,000 confirmed cases of the virus, and 30,985 people have died, according to Johns Hopkins University.
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