More than 2.12 million people applied for unemployment benefits in the United States last week, bringing the total number of requests in two months under the covid-19 pandemic to more than 41 million, the Labor Department reported Thursday.

In the week ending March 21 and as the pandemic began to hit the U.S. labor market, the number of unemployment claims jumped to 3.3 million workers, and the following week it doubled to its highest number of 6.9 million claims.

At this point, two-thirds of the people in the workforce in the world’s largest economy are receiving more money in unemployment benefits than they are earning in wages, largely because of the additional $600 a week provided by the $2.3 trillion stimulus law passed in March.


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