JOBLESS CLAIMS JUMP BY 70,000 AS VIRUS STARTS TO TAKE HOLD
JOBLESS CLAIMS JUMP BY 70,000 AS VIRUS STARTS TO TAKE HOLD
The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits surged last week by 70,000 to the highest level in more than two years, indicating that the effect of the coronavirus was starting to be felt in rising layoffs in the job market.

The Labor Department reported Thursday that applications for benefits, a good proxy for layoffs, rose by 70,000 to a seasonally adjusted 281,000 benefit applications last week. That was the highest weekly total since Sept. 2, 2017, following Hurricane Harvey.

Both the one-week rise and the total number of applications were far above the levels seen over the past year as the country’s unemployment rate fell to a half-century low of 3.5%.

Economists are predicting a surge in layoffs as efforts to contain the spreading coronavirus result in people losing jobs in a variety of industries from restaurants and bars to airlines and hotels.

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Techlife News #438