Nearly 3.2 million workers seek jobless aid, raising total layoffs since virus struck to 33 million

coronavirus

(AP) — The government released another dire picture of the layoffs that have pummeled America’s workforce.

The Labor Department announced that 3.2 million more people filed for unemployment benefits last week, after more than 30 million sought aid in the previous six weeks after the coronavirus forced employers across the country to close.

Most nonessential businesses remain shut down, though a majority of states are beginning to ease restrictions for some categories of companies despite concerns that it may be too soon to do so without accelerating new infections.

For the April jobs report coming Friday, economists are forecasting at least 21 million job losses and an unemployment rate of 16 percent or more — the highest rate since the Great Depression of the 1930s.

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