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Coronavirus Unemployment Total Jumps to 22 Million

Waiting to file for unemployment in Fayetteville, Ark., April 6, 2020 (Nick Oxford/Reuters)

Another 5.2 million people filed initial unemployment benefit claims last week as the coronavirus pandemic continues to stall the economy and throw Americans out of work, according to data released Thursday by the Labor Department.

The eye-popping figure for the week that ended April 11 is nevertheless under the record 6.9 million who filed two weeks earlier during the week that ended March 28.

Since June 2009 when the U.S. began to climb out of the Great Recession, the economy has added more than 20 million jobs. However, 22 million Americans have filed for unemployment over the past four weeks.

The latest jobless numbers come as the coronavirus and social distancing measures such as stay at home orders implemented to combat it continue to wreak havoc on the economy, causing businesses to close and lay off workers. The Congressional Budget Office has estimated that the unemployment rate will reach 10 percent during the second quarter.

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