(Image: AAP/James Ross)

Estimates for the latest US jobless claims data had ranged from one million up to four million. Even the lowest figure would have been the biggest ever by a factor of 50%.

As it turned out, the pessimists were right.

More than 3 million Americans filed a claim for unemployment benefits last week in the US. And they aren’t even the whole story of the surge in joblessness triggered by the coronavirus pandemic.