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Unemployment figures rise slightly to 744,000 despite spread of vaccinations

Posted at 9:51 AM, Apr 08, 2021

WASHINGTON — The number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits rose last week to 744,000, signaling that many employers are still cutting jobs even as more people are vaccinated against COVID-19, consumers gain confidence and the government distributes aid throughout the economy.

The Labor Department said Thursday that applications increased by 16,000 from 728,000 a week earlier.

Jobless claims have declined sharply since the virus slammed into the economy in March of last year, nut they remain high by historical standards.

Before the pandemic erupted, weekly applications typically remained below 220,000 a week.