US jobless claims likely remain high as layoffs persist


In this Wednesday, Sept. 2, 2020, file photo, passers-by walk past a business storefront with store closing and sale signs in Dedham, Mass. U.S. employers advertised for slightly fewer jobs in August while their hiring ticked up modestly. The Labor Department said Tuesday, Oct. 6, 2020, that the number of U.S. job postings on the last day of August dipped to 6.49 million, down from 6.70 million July. (AP Photo/Steven Senne, File)

WASHINGTON (AP) — The government will issue its latest snapshot Thursday of the level of layoffs in the United States, which remain elevated seven months after the viral pandemic erupted and after the expiration of federal unemployment aid for millions of Americans.

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

The latest weekly report on jobless claims coincides with fading prospects in Washington for a new federal rescue aid package that economists say is urgently needed for unemployed workers and struggling businesses, states and cities. Congress remains at an impasse.

At the same time, economists say they have grown increasingly skeptical about the government’s figures for unemployment claims, even though there is little doubt that hiring has slowed and many employers are still cutting jobs.

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