6.6 million Americans filed for unemployment benefits last week, a record high as coronavirus takes its toll

(CNN) — Millions more Americans filed for unemployment benefits last week, as businesses continue to lay off and furlough workers amid the coronavirus outbreak.

6.6 million workers filed for their first week of unemployment benefits in the week ending March 28 — a new historic high. Economists polled by Refinitiv had expected 3.5 million claims.

A week earlier, 3.3 millionAmericans filed for their first week of benefits, which was the largest number ever at the time.

As companies continue to close their doors and shed workers to limit the spread of coronavirus throughout the population, more workers will need government aid to make ends meet.