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US Jobless Claims Up To 744K As Virus Still Forces Layoffs

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A hiring sign is seen outside home improvement store in Mount Prospect, Ill., Friday, April 2, 2021. The pace of job openings reached the highest level on record in February, a harbinger of healthy hiring and a hopeful sign for those looking for work. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

(AP) — The number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits rose last week to 744,000, signaling that many employers are still cutting jobs even as more people are vaccinated against COVID-19, consumers gain confidence and the government distributes aid throughout the economy.

The Labor Department said Thursday that applications increased by 16,000 from 728,000 a week earlier. Jobless claims have declined sharply since the virus slammed into the economy in March of last year. But they remain high by historical standards: Before the pandemic erupted, weekly applications typically remained below 220,000 a week.

 

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