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.