1.5 million laid-off workers seek US jobless aid

WASHINGTON (AP) About 1.5 million laid-off workers sought unemployment aid in the U.S., a 12th straight weekly drop, even as the coronavirus threat intensifies.

The weekly toll of job cuts has steadily declined since the coronavirus first struck hard in March, forcing business closures and tipping the economy into recession. But last week’s report on applications for jobless aid showed that the pace of decline had stalled at a high level, evidence that many companies are still shedding workers.

Now, a sudden resurgence of COVID-19 cases is threatening to derail what had looked like the start of an economic recovery.

In May, employers added 2.5 million jobs, and the unemployment rate fell from 14.7% to a still-high 13.3%. But the economy and the job market may struggle to sustain their recent gains amid the surge in new viral infections, which could cause a new round of business shutdowns.

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