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Claims for unemployment rise again as virus spread increases

Unemployment Benefits
Posted at 6:25 AM, Dec 17, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-17 11:36:16-05

WASHINGTON — The number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits rose again last week to 885,000 as a resurgence of coronavirus cases threatens the economy’s recovery from its springtime collapse.

The number of applications increased from 862,000 the previous week. It showed that nine months after the viral pandemic paralyzed the economy, many employers are still slashing jobs as the pandemic forces more business restrictions and leads many consumers to stay home.

Before the coronavirus erupted in March, weekly jobless claims had typically numbered only about 225,000.

The far-higher current pace of claims reflects an employment market under stress and diminished job security for many.

The new figures were released as federal lawmakers neared a deal for further COVID-19 stimulus, which could include government-issued checks and extended unemployment benefits.