United States

3 million more unemployment claims in US as crisis total tops 36 million

More than 2.9 million Americans applied for unemployment benefits last week as the coronavirus crisis put more than 36 million people out of work in two months, according to new data. That means the pandemic has sidelined roughly 23 percent of the American labor force as it put the US economy into a deep freeze. But the seasonally adjusted number of initial jobless claims has dropped for six straight weeks, indicating the biggest wave of layoffs has passed as some states start to emerge from lockdowns meant to control the virus. Economists were expecting the US Department of Labor to report 2.5 million claims last week. The total also dropped below 3 million for the first time since the virus started to swell the nation’s unemploym ...