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Coronavirus: US jobless claims hit 6.6 million as virus spreads

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The number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits has hit a record high for the second week in a row as the economic toll tied to the coronavirus intensifies.

More than 6.6 million people filed jobless claims in the week ended 28 March, the Department of Labor said.

That is nearly double the week earlier, which was also a new record.

The deepening economic crisis comes as the number of cases in the US soars to more than 216,000.

With the death toll rising, the White House recently said it would retain the restrictions on activity to try to slow the spread of the virus.

In a Bank of America Global Research report on Thursday, analysts warned the US could see “the deepest recession on record”, as the unemployment rate hits more than 15% and growth falls 10.4%.

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