The number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits has surged for a third week as the economic toll tied to the coronavirus pandemic intensifies.
More than 6.6 million people filed jobless claims in the week ending 4 April, the Department of Labor said.
To shore up the economy, the Federal Reserve said it would unleash an additional $2.3tn in lending.
The deepening economic crisis comes as the number of virus cases in the US soars to more than 430,000.
Over the last three weeks, more than 16 million people have made unemployment claims, as restrictions on activity to help contain the virus force most businesses to close and put about 95% of Americans on some form of lockdown.
“Today’s report continues to reflect the personal sacrifice being made by America’s workers and their families to slow the spread of the coronavirus,” Labor Secretary Eugene Scalia said.
The number of people worldwide who have tested positive has just hit 1.6 million, up from 1.5 the day before. Just as a reminder: on Friday last week, that number was at just under a million.
The worst-hit countries currently are the US (465,329 cases), Spain (153,222), Italy (143,626), France (118,783) and Germany (118,235), China (82,885), Iran (66,220) and the UK (65,872).
China is a bit of an exception here. While it’s the country where the pandemic started, more than 77,600 people have already recovered there. Globally, some 354,000 people have recovered.
Overall, it’s important to remember that all those stats (collected by the Johns Hopkins University) are only the confirmed cases and depend on the level of testing. The actual number is thought to be higher.
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