US weekly jobless claims rise to 745,000

Visitors are unable to gain access to the Department of Labor due to closures over coronavirus concerns, Wednesday, March 18, 2020, in New York. Applications for jobless benefits are surging in some states as coronavirus concerns shake the U.S. economy. The sharp increase comes as governments have ordered millions of workers, students and shoppers to stay home as a precaution against spreading the virus that causes the COVID-19 disease.

Initial jobless claims in the US increased to 745,000 last week, indicating stalled recovery in the labour market, the Labour Department reported.

In the week ending February 27, the number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits increased by 9,000 from the previous week’s upwardly revised level of 736,000, according to a report released on Thursday by the Department’s Bureau of Labour Statistics.

The latest claims report showed that the number of people continuing to collect regular state unemployment benefits in the week ending February 20 decreased by 124,000 to below 4.3 million, reports Xinhua news agency.

Meanwhile, the total number of people claiming benefits in all programs, state and federal combined, for the week ending February 13 decreased by 1 million to 18 million, as the country continues to grapple with the fallout of surging Covid-19 cases.

The claims report came one day ahead of the monthly employment report.

According to earlier data from the Labour Department, US employers added just 49,000 jobs in January, after slashing downwardly revised 227,000 jobs in December 2020.

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