US unemployment hits a staggering number, 10% of workforce has filed for benefits

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FILE – In this Wednesday, March 18, 2020 file photo, Visitors to the Department of Labor are turned away at the door by personnel due to closures over coronavirus concerns in New York. Americans are seeking unemployment benefits at unprecedented levels due to the coronavirus, but many are finding more frustration than relief. (AP Photo/John Minchillo, File)

WASHINGTON (AP) — It’s a shocking number, another 6.6 million people filed for jobless aid last week. According to the U.S. government, nearly 10 million people had already applied for benefits in the previous two weeks because of business shutdowns.

Currently, 10% of the U.S. workforce has filed for unemployment aid.

That number will likely keep increasing, in part because many states are still clearing out backlogs of applications for unemployment aid. And with more companies running through their cash cushions as the virus-related shutdowns persist, they are resorting to layoffs to save money.

Federal figures show that nearly 245,000 people have filed for unemployment in Nevada since casinos and other businesses closed in mid-March to keep people from congregating and spreading the new coronavirus. U.S. labor data posted Thursday tallied almost 80,000 new jobless filings last week in the state.

Up to 50 million jobs are vulnerable to coronavirus-related layoffs, economists say. That’s about one-third of all the jobs in the United States.

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