US jobless claims likely remain high as layoffs persist

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WASHINGTON (AP) – The government will provide its latest picture Thursday of the pace of layoffs in the United States, which have remained high since the viral pandemic erupted in March even while federal aid for the jobless has lapsed.

The still-elevated number of people seeking unemployment benefits each week reflects an economy that has recovered only slightly more than half the 22 million jobs that were lost to the pandemic. Millions of Americans are facing unemployment with vastly diminished aid since the expiration of a $600-a-week federal benefit this summer.

The latest report on jobless claims comes just after President Donald Trump cut off talks in Washington over a new federal rescue aid package that economists say is urgently needed for unemployed workers and struggling businesses.

At the same time, some newly laid-off people are facing delays in receiving unemployment benefits as some state agencies intensify efforts to combat fraudulent applications and clear out backlogged claims.

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