Another 742,000 Americans have applied for unemployment benefits amid the spread of the Coronavirus

The number of Americans filing for government unemployment benefits rose last week for the first time since the start of October, indicating that Layoffs Still high as an increase in Corona Virus Issues threatening to derail the economy’s recovery.

The latest unemployment claims numbers from the Ministry of Labor, covering the week ending November 14, show that 742,000 workers sought help last week, nearly four times the pre-crisis level. However, it is well below the peak of nearly 7 million in late March, when countries first implemented lockdown measures to curb the spread of COVID-19.

It’s slightly higher than last week’s revised figure of 711,000 and well above the 707,000 new claims that Refinitiv economists had forecast.

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“The headline here is worrying, with the number of new claims increasing from 31,000 to 742,000 in traditional state-run programs,” said Mark Hamrick, chief economist at Bankrate.com. “This combined with the increase in claims under the Epidemic Unemployment Assistance Program puts us in over a million new claims.”

Almost 67 million Americans Almost 40% of the country’s workforce They have applied for help since the coronavirus lockdown began in mid-March.

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The number of people who continue to receive unemployment benefits has decreased to 6.37 million, down by 429,000 from the previous week. Backtracking indicates that employers call their workers.

However, some reduction in so-called persistent claims may represent workers who have exhausted the maximum number of payments available through government unemployment programs (usually around six months) and are now receiving benefits through a separate federal program that extends aid through 13 weeks. Congress created the additional federal benefits earlier this year with the passage of the CARES Act.

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Nearly 10.1 million more Americans remain unemployed than in February, before the pandemic spread.

The report comes as newly confirmed daily infections in the US rose 80% in the past two weeks to an all-time high. More states and cities are issuing new lockdown measures, including restricting indoor dining, closing gyms, reducing the hours or capacity of bars and other businesses, and limiting the size of indoor gatherings.

Hamrick said: “After the strong recovery after the sharp downturn in March and April, the economy is facing increased risks while we wait for the delivery of vaccines that are said to be effective and provide us with a reason for real hope.”

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