April 23, 2024

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Weekly unemployment claims top 6 million amid coronavirus pandemic


Americans are being urged to stay home to help slow the spread of the COVID-19 outbreak. 

Ira L. Black/Corbis via Getty Image

For the most up-to-date news and information about the coronavirus pandemic, visit the WHO website.

The coronavirus outbreak continues to take a toll on the American labor market with jobless claims hitting a record high for the second week in a row. The US Labor Department on Thursday reported that jobless claims surged to 6.6 million for the week ended March 28. 

The surge comes after more than 3 million Americans filed for unemployment benefits two weeks ago as businesses closed and some cities and states issued stay-at-home orders in an attempt to slow the spread of the coronavirus outbreak. Many states reported layoffs in the food services and retail industries, as well as manufacturing, transportation and other areas impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak. 

COVID-19, the disease caused by a newly identified coronavirus, has rapidly spread across the globe. The World Health Organization on March 11 declared the outbreak a pandemic, saying it expected to see the number of cases and deaths continue climbing. As of Thursday, there were more than 216,000 cases of coronavirus in the US.


The US is breaking all records for new jobless claims.

US Department of Labor

Congress last week passed a $2 trillion economic stimulus package that aims to help lessen the economic blow caused by the coronavirus pandemic. In addition to payments of up to $1,200 for qualifying individuals, the new economic stimulus law includes help for the unemployed and those with student loans knocked back by the COVID-19 disease, as well financial support for small businesses.

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