US jobless claims up to 744K as virus still forces layoffs

Increased by 16,000 claims since the last report
Posted at 6:57 AM, Apr 08, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-08 09:58:13-04

WASHINGTON (AP) — The number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits rose last week to 744,000, signaling that many employers are still cutting jobs even as more people are vaccinated against COVID-19, consumers gain confidence and the government distributes aid throughout the economy.

The Labor Department said Thursday that applications increased by 16,000 from 728,000 a week earlier. Jobless claims have declined sharply since the virus slammed into the economy in March of last year.

But they remain high by historical standards: Before the pandemic erupted, weekly applications typically remained below 220,000 a week.