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Record 6.6 million file for unemployment benefits as coronavirus takes its toll

Posted On: Apr 2, 2020   |   Posted By: WGN TV

WASHINGTON - More than 6.6 million Americans applied for unemployment benefits last week - doubling a record high set just one week earlier - a sign that layoffs are accelerating in the midst of the coronavirus.
The stunning report Thursday from the Labor Department showed that job cuts are mounting against the backdrop of economies in the United States and abroad that have almost certainly sunk into a severe recession as businesses close across the world.
The figure for last week is much higher than the previous record of 3.3 million reported for the previous week. The surging layoffs have led many economists to envision as many as 20 million lost jobs by the end of April. The unemployment rate could spike to as high as 15% this month, above the previous record of 10.8% set during a deep recession in 1982.
Many employers are slashing their payrolls to try to stay afloat because their revenue has collapsed, especially at restaurants, hotels, gyms, movie theaters and other venues that depend on face-to-face...

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