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BREAKING NEWS: More than 30 million Americans have now lost their jobs amid the coronavirus pandemic as 3.8 million new claims for unemployment benefits are filed in a week (4 Pics)

More than 30 million Americans have now lost their jobs in the six weeks since the coronavirus outbreak began as the US economy slides further into a crisis that is becoming the most devastating since the 1930s. 
There were 3.8 million new claims for unemployment benefits filed last week, according to the latest Labor Department figures released on Thursday. 
More than 26 million have applied for aid in the previous five weeks, adding up to the largest streak of US job losses on record.    
The total figure now - 30.3 million - is more people than live in the New York and Chicago metropolitan areas combined. 
Across nearly every industry, nonessential businesses have closed, and workers have been sent home with no clear idea of when or whether they might be recalled. An economic recovery may be months or years off, though governors in a few states have begun allowing some businesses to reopen under certain restrictions.
With more employers cutting payrolls to save money, economists have forecast that the unemployment rate for April could go as high as 20 percent. That would be the highest rate since it reached 25 percent during the Great Depression. 
This week, the government estimated that the economy shrank at a 4.8 percent annual rate in the first three months of this year - the sharpest quarterly drop since the 2008 financial crisis. 
There were 3.8 million new claims for unemployment benefits filed last week, according to the latest Labor Department figures released on Thursday
There were 3.8 million new claims for unemployment benefits filed last week, according to the latest Labor Department figures released on Thursday
More than 30 million Americans have now lost their jobs in the six weeks since the coronavirus outbreak began as the US economy slides further into a crisis that is becoming the most devastating since the 1930s
More than 30 million Americans have now lost their jobs in the six weeks since the coronavirus outbreak began as the US economy slides further into a crisis that is becoming the most devastating since the 1930s
Yet the picture is likely to grow far worse: The economy is expected to contract in the April-June quarter by as much as 40 percent at an annual rate. No previous quarter has been anywhere near as weak since the government began keeping such records after World War II. 
As businesses across the country have shut down and laid off tens of millions of workers, the economy has sunk into a near-paralysis in just a few weeks. Factories, hotels, restaurants, department stores, movie theaters and many small businesses are shuttered. Home sales are falling, households are slashing spending and consumer confidence is sinking. 
With some signs that the viral outbreak may have plateaued at least in certain areas of the country, a few governors have taken tentative steps to begin reopening their economies. 
Surveys, however, show that a large majority of Americans remain wary of returning to shopping, traveling and other normal economic activity. That suggests that many industries will struggle with diminished revenue for weeks or months to come and might be unable to rehire laid-off workers. 
More than 30 million Americans have now lost their jobs in six weeks amid the coronavirus pandemic
More than 30 million Americans have now lost their jobs in six weeks amid the coronavirus pandemic 

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