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U.S. COVID-19 cases top 1.25 mln

Meanwhile, the death toll from the disease in the country hit 75,649. As a result of the pandemic which continues to sweep the nation, the number of initial jobless claims in the U.S. totaled 3.169 million last week, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported on Thursday. That number has been above three million for seven consecutive weeks.

In the week ending May 2, the number of Americans filing for U.S. unemployment benefits decreased by 677,000 from the number of 3,846,000 in the prior week, the fifth weekly decline in a row. So far, the seven-week total has surpassed a staggering 33.5 million, indicating the scope of COVID-19’s damage to the U.S. labor market.

As COVID-19 shutdowns rippled through the workforce, initial jobless claims spiked by three million to reach a record 3.3 million in the week ending March 21, then doubled to reach a record 6.87 million in the week ending March 28. After that, figures have been declining, though still at historical highs.

Initial jobless claims totaled 6.62 million in the week ending April 4, fell to 5.2 million in the week ending April 11, dropped to 4.4 million in the week ending April 18, and then declined to 3.8 million in the week ending April 25. The new BLS report also showed that the four-week moving average, a method to iron out data volatility, decreased by 861,500 to reach 4.2 million.

The newly released weekly jobless claim data came one day after payroll data company Automatic Data Processing, Inc. reported that private companies in the United States shed around 20.2 million jobs in April amid COVID-19 fallout.

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