US unemployment surges, claims hit 6.6 million

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    New York, April 2 (IANS) The US unemployment has hit a new high amid the coronavirus scare.

    According to Department of Labour data, the number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefit has surged to 6.65 million, as the coronavirus pandemic continues to upend the country’s economy.

    The actual figure could be even higher as many people had reported jammed phonelines and difficulties with filing their claims online, the BBC reported on Thursday. Also, some types of workers, like people working part-time, don’t qualify for unemployment benefit.

    The latest figure has eclipsed the previous week’s record of 3.3 million people.

    The rush, which is unprecedented in modern US history, has overwhelmed many state offices handling the claims.

    Car firms have halted production and air travel has fallen dramatically. According to economists, a fifth of the US workforce is now on some form of lockdown.

    –IANS

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