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US sheds 701,000 jobs in face of virus, ending record-long hiring streak

US sheds 701,000 jobs, ending a record-long hiring streak
Posted at 5:44 AM, Apr 03, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-03 08:47:22-04

WASHINGTON (AP) — A record-long streak of U.S. job growth ended suddenly in March after nearly a decade as employers cut 701,000 jobs because of the coronavirus outbreak that’s all but shut down the U.S. economy.

The unemployment rate jumped to 4.4% from a 50-year low of 3.5%.

Last month’s actual job loss was likely even larger because the government surveyed employers before the heaviest layoffs hit in the past two weeks.

Nearly 10 million Americans applied for unemployment benefits in the last two weeks of March, far exceeding the figure for any corresponding period on record.

This story is breaking and will be updated.