41 million have lost jobs since virus hit, but layoffs slow

National & World News

In this May 7, 2020, photo, the entrance to the Labor Department is seen near the Capitol in Washington. The record unemployment rate reflects a nation ravaged by the coronavirus pandemic, the economic devastation upending the presidential campaign and forcing President Donald Trump to overcome historic headwinds to win a second term. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

WASHINGTON (AP) – Roughly 2.1 million people applied for U.S. unemployment benefits last week, a sign that companies are still slashing jobs in the face of a deep recession even as more businesses reopen and rehire some laid-off employees.

About 41 million people have now applied for aid since the virus outbreak intensified in March, though not all of them are still unemployed. The Labor Department’s report Thursday includes a count of all the people now receiving unemployment aid: 21 million.

That is a rough measure of the number of unemployed Americans.  The national jobless rate was 14.7% in April, the highest since the Great Depression.

© 2020 Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. Material may not be redistributed.

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