HARRISBURG (AP) — More than 400,000 Pennsylvanians filed for unemployment compensation benefits last week amid a tidal wave of coronavirus-related business shutdowns, eclipsing the high-point during the recession a decade ago, the state's top organized labor leader said Wednesday.


Rick Bloomingdale, president of the Pennsylvania chapter of the AFL-CIO, said Gov. Tom Wolf's administration briefed him on last week's figures as the union urges Wolf and lawmakers to expand unemployment compensation benefits to replace a full salary, rather than a half salary.


Wolf last Thursday ordered a statewide shutdown of all "non-life-sustaining" businesses in an effort to slow the spread of the coronavirus and buy time for the state's health care system to expand staffing, equipment and bed space.


Even before that order, unemployment compensation filings in Pennsylvania and many other states had skyrocketed, underscoring how many businesses had already closed or shed workers.


A review of weekly data going back to 1987 shows a high-point of 61,000 in early 2010, when the effects of the Great Recession were taking hold.


The agency would not release last week's figures to The Associated Press, saying the federal government has embargoed the figures until Thursday.


A look at other coronavirus-related developments in Pennsylvania:


ELECTION LEGISLATION


A measure to delay Pennsylvania's primary election by five weeks, potentially past the spike of the state's spreading coronavirus cases, could fly through both chambers of the state Legislature to Wolf's desk on Wednesday.


Wolf, a Democrat, will sign it, his office said.


The measure also has high-level support from top Republicans in the GOP-controlled Legislature and won a unanimous preliminary vote in the House on Tuesday.


Under the bill, Pennsylvania would hold its primary election on June 2, instead of April 28, when the state could be in the thick of a surge of coronavirus cases.


Training and recruiting poll workers in the thick of the coronavirus crisis could prove impossible, lawmakers say.


In addition to delaying the primary date, the legislation would give county election offices a head start on processing and tabulating mail-in ballots, newly allowed under a five-month-old election law.


Letting election workers start at 7 a.m. on election days, instead of after polls close, is designed to help them avoid a massive backup that county officials have warned could extend vote counting in the presidential race for days afterward.


It also would require that challenges to those ballots be filed by the Friday before election days to lighten the post-election workload.


Separately, the legislation would let counties consolidate polling places, in part because some are currently located within nursing homes that could be susceptible to outbreaks of coronavirus. Many poll workers are older people who are particularly at risk from COVID-19, lawmakers say.


Primary voters will pick candidates in contested races for president, Congress and the Legislature.