By Michael Hernandez
WASHINGTON (AA) - More than 4.4 million more Americans filed for unemployment benefits last week as the US continues to grapple with economic repercussions from the novel coronavirus, according to data released Thursday by the Labor Department.
In all, 4,427,000 jobless claims were filed, representing a week-on-week decrease of 810,000 claims. The five-week total for those who have lost jobs during the pandemic now exceeds 26 million.
That means about all the jobs added to the U.S. workforce since the 2008 Great Recession have now been lost in a little more than a month, according to multiple reports, highlighting the staggering economic toll taken by the coronavirus.
Many businesses have been shuttered or have greatly reduced operations as nearly all states enforce stay-at-home orders and have halted operations for all but essential businesses. Most school systems have similarly suspended operations.
Combined, the measures have sent shockwaves through the U.S. economy, with the service industry and agriculture sector particularly hard-hit.
Some state governors have signaled they would soon begin to reopen sectors of their economies, with Georgia set to do so Friday despite warnings from health officials it is too early.
Markets were relatively unaffected by the latest jobs report, with all three major indices posting modest gains in early-morning trading.
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