US jobless claims rise to 861,000 as layoffs stay high

Posted at 5:40 AM, Feb 18, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-18 10:01:43-05

WASHINGTON (AP) — WASHINGTON (AP) — The number of Americans applying for unemployment aid rose last week to 861,000, evidence that layoffs remain painfully high despite a steady drop in the number of confirmed viral infections. Applications from laid-off workers rose 13,000 from the previous week, which was revised sharply higher, the Labor Department said Thursday. Before the virus erupted in the United States last March, weekly applications for unemployment benefits had never topped 700,000, even during the Great Recession of 2008-2009.