US layoffs climb to 41 million, despite business reopenings

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CHRISTOPHER RUGABER and DAN SEWELL Associated Press WASHINGTON (AP) — An estimated 2.1 million Americans applied for unemployment benefits last week despite the gradual reopening of businesses around the country, bringing the running total since the coronavirus shutdowns took hold in mid-March to about 41 million, the government said Thursday. In a glimmer of hope, the overall number of people currently drawing jobless benefits in the U.S. fell for the first time since the crisis began, from 25 million to 21 million, suggesting some companies are starting to rehire. Still, the Labor Department report underscored the continuing economic damage from the viral outbreak that on Wednesday hit a confirmed death toll in the U.S. of 100,000, more than the number of Americans killed in the V
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