US unemployment applications are set to shoot up again

Published 1:29 pm Thursday, April 16, 2020

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. government is poised Thursday to announce the latest alarming report on the layoffs that have been sweeping across the economy since the coronavirus outbreak struck hard last month.
Several million more people are expected to have filed for unemployment benefits last week, after nearly 17 million applied for aid in the previous three weeks. It is the worst stretch of U.S. job losses on record.
All businesses deemed nonessential have been closed in 48 states as the economy has essentially shut down. Some economists say the unemployment rate could reach as high as 20% in April, which would be the highest rate since the Great Depression.
Layoffs have spread beyond services industries such as restaurants and hotels into blue-collar and professional occupations, including software programmers, construction workers and sales jobs. Up to 50 million jobs are vulnerable to coronavirus-related layoffs, economists say — about one-third of all positions in the United States.

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