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U.S. weekly jobless claims top 5.2 million

Video credit: Reuters Studio
Published on April 16, 2020 - Duration: 01:26s

U.S. weekly jobless claims top 5.2 million

A record 22 million Americans have sought unemployment benefits over the past month, with millions more filing claims last week, underscoring the deepening economic slump caused by the novel coronavirus outbreak.

Yahaira Jacquez reports.

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U.S. weekly jobless claims top 5.2 million

Another 5.2 million Americans filed for unemployment benefits last week, raising the recent total above a staggering 22 million.

The latest figures from the Labor Department released Thursday underscore the devastating toll the virus and the drastic measures taken to control its spread have taken on the once-booming U.S. economy, leaving it in utter shambles.

Lockdown measures have forced businesses to close their doors or limit operations and Americans to stay home..

Forcing layoffs, furloughs and millions of lost paychecks.

The astounding weekly number comes as President Donald Trump weighs plans to relax social distancing measures and re-open the economy, despite concerns from health experts.

And as some governors - like Michigan's Gretchen Whitmer - are facing fierce backlash for their stay-at-home measures, which opponents say are causing them financial pain.

Weekly jobless claims are being closely watched, for clues on the depth of the crisis, when the waves of layoffs may let up and when a recovery might start.

But for now, there is no light at the end of the tunnel.

Economists expect the unemployment rate in April will blow past the Great Recession's peak of 10%.

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