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Due to COVID-19, Unemployment Claims Surge

Experts are predicting that the number will be higher than 1 million

The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits surged by the most since 2012 to a 2-1/2-year high last week, as companies in the services sectors laid off workers because of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

The deterioration in the most timely labor market indicator, reported by the Labor Department on Thursday, offered a glimpse of what lies ahead as the country struggles to curb the spread of the highly contagious virus, which has upended life for Americans. Economists are expecting a recession by the second quarter, though some believe a downturn is already underway.

The coronavirus has crippled the hospitality, leisure and transportation industries, as well as the manufacturing sector.

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