26 million have sought U.S. jobless aid during pandemic

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More than 4.4 million laid-off workers applied for U.S. unemployment benefits last week as job cuts escalated, the Department of Labor reported Thursday. In the last five weeks, about 26 million people have filed for jobless aid, the highest level of the seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate in U.S. history. “Today’s unemployment report shows continued, elevated unemployment claims caused by the coronavirus pandemic,” Secretary of Labor Eugene Scalia said Thursday in a released statement. “The Department of Labor is continuing to provide guidance and support to the states as they implement the enhanced unemployment benefits under the CARES Act, with 44 States now paying the $600 additional weekly benefit provided by the Act. The Department also continues to implement the paid leave requirements of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, and has now initiated hundreds of cases to ensure workers receive what they’re entitled to under the law.” 

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