Unemployment claims rise for first time in months as coronavirus rages

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The number of Americans asking for unemployment assistance increases, marking the first increase in months, coronavirus spread across the country.Some 1.4 million Americans applied for unemployment benefits during the week ended July 18, allowing for seasonal variations, the Labor Department said Thursday. This is an increase from the previous week when $ 1.3 million was applied.

In addition, 975,000 people requested Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, a new federal program for the self-employed and construction workers. This figure has increased by 20,000 from the previous week.

This marks the 17th week in a row that total jobless claims have exceeded 2 million. But regular jobless claims had declined from the last week of March, when they peaked at 6.6 million, until last week’s increase to 1.4 million from 1.3 million.

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