(AP) — The number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits in the two months since the coronavirus (COVID-19) took hold in the United States has swelled to nearly 39 million, the government reported Thursday, even as states from coast to coast gradually reopen their economies and let people go back to work.
More than 2.4 million people filed for unemployment last week in the latest wave of layoffs from the business shutdowns that have brought the economy to its knees, the Labour Department said.
That brings the running total to a staggering 38.6 million, a job-market collapse unprecedented in its speed.
The number of weekly applications has slowed for seven straight weeks. Yet the figures remain breathtakingly high — 10 times higher than normal before the crisis struck.
It shows that even though all states have begun reopening over the past three weeks, employment has yet to snap back and the outbreak is still damaging businesses and destroying jobs.