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US jobless claims up for 2nd straight week as virus worsens

WASHINGTON (AP) — The number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits rose last week for a second straight week to 778,000. This as the US economy and job market remain under strain as coronavirus cases surge and colder weather heighten the risks.

The Labor Department’s report Wednesday said that jobless claims climbed from 748,000 the week before. Before the virus struck hard in mid-March, weekly claims typically amounted to only about 225,000.

They shot up to 6.9 million during one week in March before dropping, yet they remain historically high more than eight months later, with many businesses unable to fully reopen.

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