One in four US workers claiming jobless benefits

The number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits jumped by almost 3 million last week as virus shutdowns continue to weigh on the US economy.

The filings brought the total number of new jobless claims since the middle of March to more than 36 million.

That amounts to nearly a quarter of the American workforce.

The weekly figures have been falling since the end of March but remain massive by historic standards, eclipsing the prior record of 700,000.

“Today’s unemployment claims continue their epic ascent on a cumulative weekly basis; not since the Great Depression has the US job market been in such a sorry state,” said Richard Flynn, UK managing director at Charles Schwab.

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