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Many more likely sought jobless aid as virus surges back

By CHRISTOPHER RUGABER
AP Economics Writer
WASHINGTON (AP) — With the nation gripped by an alarming resurgence of coronavirus cases, the U.S. government will provide its latest report Thursday on the layoffs that have remained stuck at an elevated weekly level above 1 million since the pandemic erupted in March.
The pace of applications for unemployment benefits has stalled at roughly double the record high that existed before the virus sent the economy spiraling into a deep recession. Now, as many states and localities reimpose lockdowns in response to the spreading virus, businesses face renewed struggles that are forcing some to impose further job cuts or to shut down permanently.
The latest string of layoffs is occurring just before a $600 weekly federal aid payment for the jobless is set to expire at the end of this week. Members of Congress are negotiating another aid package that might extend that benefit, though likely at a lower level of payment.