Thousands of cars line up at drive-thru pantry in Van Nuys as more unemployment claims filed

VAN NUYS, Calif. (KABC) -- Thousands of cars lined up at drive-thru pantry in Van Nuys -- a sign of the times as another 6.6 million people filed for unemployment last week amid the coronavirus pandemic.

A line of cars wrapped down the street and around the corner near Van Nuys City Hall. The LAPD had to send more officers to control the traffic to get in the area.

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Nearly 10 million Americans have lost their jobs and applied for unemployment benefits in the past two weeks - a stunning record high that reflects the near-complete shutdown of the U.S. economy.


The pantry was organized by the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank, which accepts donations.

The latest U.S. unemployment numbers are just below the previous week's record-setting number.
In the last three weeks, more than 15 million Americans have applied for unemployment, about 10 percent of the U.S. workforce.

In California, about 925,000 workers filed unemployment claims. The week before, about 1 million claims were filed.


Want to see California unemployment numbers in a larger window? Click here

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Meanwhile, the Federal Reserve is taking additional steps to add up to $2.3 trillion in cash and loans.

Many have said they were having difficulty signing up to file unemployment claims online or over the phone, and small businesses owners say they are having trouble getting help from the government.

"I think the problem is that too many people are getting frustrated, people can't get through to unemployment. They go online, the site crashes, they try to call and they can't get through. And then the business owners are very frustrated because they're trying to get these loans but they can't get through to someone at the bank," said Brian Gilder, a financial planner.

Experts are expecting to see similar numbers in the coming weeks.


Want to see U.S. unemployment numbers in a larger window? Click here
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