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Coronavirus-triggered layoffs in US hit nearly 39 million

May 21, 2020 | 🚀 Fathership
WASHINGTON - The number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits in the two months since the took hold in the U.S. has swelled to nearly 39 million, the government reported Thursday, even as states from coast to coast gradually reopen their economies and let people go back to work.

More than 2.4 million people filed for jobless aid last week in the latest wave of layoffs from the outbreak that has triggered nationwide business shutdowns and brought the economy to its knees, the Labor Department said.

European countries have also seen heavy job losses, but robust government safety-net programs in places like German and France are subsidizing the wages of millions of workers and keeping them on the payroll.

The latest figures do not mean 38.6 million people are out of work.

An additional 1.2 million people applied for unemployment last week under a federal program that makes self-employed, contractor and gig workers eligible for the first time.