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