Job cuts remain high despite a substantial decline in new viral infections. The number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits fell slightly last week to 793,000.
According to KTLA before the virus erupted in March, weekly unemployment claims have never topped 700,000 not even during the Great Recession. Last week's total declined from 812,000 but the numbers are still alarmingly high. Over the past two months employers have cut 178,000 jobs. Nearly 10 million jobs remain lost to the pandemic.
Though the unemployment rate fell from 6.7% to 6.3%, it is mainly attributed to the fact that many people who had lost their job stopped looking for one and the government only counts people actively seeking jobs.
Many economists expect a burst of growth and hiring later this year after the roll out of the vaccinations to more Americans, especially if Congress provides significantly more aid to households, small businesses and states and cities. Though that isn't likely for months.
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