Weekly job numbers worse than expected

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Weekly jobless claims were worse than expected last week.

According to the Labor Department, first-time claims for unemployment benefits totaled 884,000 last week, higher than some economists’ forecast of 850,000.

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Six months into the coronavirus pandemic, the latest weekly total is still more than quadruple pre-pandemic levels.

Officials also say 13.4 million people are continuing to receive traditional jobless benefits, up from 13.3 million the previous week. The increase suggests that hiring isn’t occurring quickly enough to offset the still widespread layoffs.

Around 22 million people have lost their job since the coronavirus hit and just half of those positions have returned so far.

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