It’s worth noting that jobless claims were fully double what economists estimated last week. Normally claims are not that difficult to forecast, but in this instance the number of people filing claims is so massive that it is overwhelming the technology states use to process claims. It is difficult to estimate the number of people who were frustrated with the process and gave up temporarily. This is a big deal in Florida and New Jersey, for example – two of the largest economies in the country and among the most affected by the shutdown. Both have deeply dysfunctional technology for processing unemployment benefits.
I think, if anything, we might get a surprise to the upside. Former Fed chair Janet Yellen thinks we are already at 12-13% unemployment. That would imply that there are nearly 20 million people currently out of work. It would also fit with my educated **guess** that we are looking at closer to 10 million new claims tomorrow.