Many more likely sought jobless aid amid resurgence of virus

U.S. & World

FILE – In this Feb. 5, 2019, file photo, Alaska Airlines planes are parked at a gate area at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport in Seattle. Alaska Airlines said over 300 employees among the company’s workforce in Anchorage may lose their jobs on Oct. 1, 2020. The company said the Anchorage layoffs are part of company-wide job cuts because of the economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic, Alaska Public Media reported Tuesday, Aug. 4. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren, File)

WASHINGTON (AP) — With the nation still gripped by an alarming resurgence of coronavirus cases, the U.S. government will provide its latest snapshot Thursday of the layoffs that have remained elevated at a weekly pace above 1 million since the pandemic erupted in March.

The rate of applications for unemployment benefits has stalled at roughly twice the record high that had existed before the virus sent the economy spiraling into a recession. With many states and localities having re-imposed lockdowns in response to the spreading virus, businesses face renewed struggles that have forced some to impose further job cuts or to shut down.

The latest string of layoffs follows the expiration of a $600 weekly federal jobless payment that provided critical support for many of the unemployed. Members of Congress are locked in prolonged negotiations over a new rescue aid package that might extend that unemployment benefit, though likely at a lower level of payment.

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