Jobless claims rise to 885,000 amid virus resurgence

The number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits rose again last week to 885,000, the highest weekly total since September, as a resurgence of coronavirus cases threatens the economy’s recovery from its springtime collapse.

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December 17, 2020 - 9:08 AM

WASHINGTON (AP) — The number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits rose again last week to 885,000, the highest weekly total since September, as a resurgence of coronavirus cases threatens the economy’s recovery from its springtime collapse.

The Labor Department said today that the number of applications increased from 862,000 the previous week. It showed that nine months after the viral pandemic paralyzed the economy, many employers are still slashing jobs as the pandemic forces more business restrictions and leads many consumers to stay home. The number of claims was much higher than the 800,000 that economists had expected.

Before the coronavirus erupted in March, weekly jobless claims had typically numbered only about 225,000. The far-higher current pace reflects an employment market under stress and diminished job security for many.

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