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US jobless claims hit 3.3 million, quadruple previous record

US jobless claims hit 3.3 million, quadruple previous record Photo: WDIO/MGN

Created: March 26, 2020 01:59 PM

WASHINGTON (AP) - A record-high number of 3.3 million people applied for unemployment benefits last week as layoffs engulfed the United States in the face of a near-total economic shutdown caused by the coronavirus.

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The surge in weekly applications for benefits far exceeded the previous record set in 1982.

Layoffs are sure to accelerate as the U.S. economy sinks into what most economists expect to be deep and painful recession. Revenue has collapsed at restaurants, hotels, movie theaters, gyms and airlines. Auto sales are plummeting, and car makers have close factories.

Most such employers face loan payments and other fixed costs, so they're forced to cut jobs to save money. 

Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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