18:36 GMT16 April 2021
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    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - Some 719,000 Americans filed for jobless claims last week, according to Labor Department data on Thursday that showed weekly filings back above the 700,000 level that economists say demonstrates the job market’s struggle to turn the corner with the coronavirus pandemic.

    “In the week ending 27 March, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 719,000, an increase of 61,000 from the previous week's revised level,” the department said in a news release.

    In the previous week to 19 March, filings for jobless benefits fell to 684,000, the lowest number since the COVID-19 breakout a year ago.

    The United States lost more than 21 million jobs between March and April, at the height of business lockdowns forced by the virus. At least 10 million of those jobs have not returned, with the US economy shrinking 3.5 percent in 2020 after a 2.2 percent growth in 2019.

    Since the COVID-19 pandemic broke out, the Fed has kept US interest rates at between zero and 0.25 percent and pledged not to raise them until it sees maximum employment and inflation consistently at above 2 percent per annum.

    COVID-19, jobless claims, unemployment, US
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