Another surge in US unemployment applications is likely

Another surge in US unemployment applications is likely

The U.S. government is set Thursday to issue another gloomy report on the layoffs that have swept through America’s workforce since the coronavirus outbreak forced businesses to shut down beginning last month

WASHINGTON — The U.S. government is set Thursday to issue another gloomy report on the layoffs that have swept through America’s workforce since the coronavirus outbreak forced businesses to shut down beginning last month.

The Labor Department will likely report that several million more people filed for unemployment benefits last week, after nearly 22 million applied for aid in the previous four weeks. It represents by far the largest streak of U.S. job losses on record.

Throughout the economy, nonessential businesses have closed, although some governors have begun easing restrictions despite warnings from health authorities that it may be too soon to do so without sparking new infections.

For April, some economists say the unemployment rate could reach as high as 20%. That would be the highest jobless rate since the Great Depression, when it reached 25%.

Layoffs have spread throughout the economy, from front-line service industries like restaurants, hotels and retail stores to white collar and professional occupations.

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