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US jobless benefits rise more than forecast

US jobless benefits rise more than forecast

The United States announced today its weekly jobless claims data that continued to reflect the negative impact of the coronavirus outbreak on the labor market, as unemployment benefit applications rose more than expected last week.

Initial jobless claims for the past week increased by 3.1 million, compared to forecasts of a rise of 3.0 million, while the previous reading was revised to 3.846 million. Now, the jobless benefits over the past seven weeks is near 33 million.

The pandemic has led to an unprecedented rise in the number of Americans seeking government assistance. Applications for assistance have already surpassed those peaked at 665,000 during the recession between 2007 and 2009, when 8.7 million jobs were lost.

From a positive perspective, the jobless claims showed a fifth consecutive week of declining claims.

The continued claims reached 22.6 million, according to the Labor Department.

Meanwhile, the dollar index, which measures the performance of six major currencies against the US dollar, traded slightly higher at 100.22.

Eyes will focus tomorrow on the U.S. non-farm payrolls, which may show that American employers shed 21.4 million jobs in April.

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