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Many more likely sought jobless aid as layoffs remain high

WASHINGTON – The U.S. government will provide its latest picture Thursday of the layoffs that have remained elevated at a weekly pace of around 1 million since the pandemic erupted nearly six months ago even as some sectors of the economy have been rebounding.

The number of people applying for unemployment benefits has stalled near a level that exceeds the number who did so in any week on record before the virus triggered a recession early this year.

While the auto and housing industries have made gains, companies across the spectrum — from small businesses to hotels, restaurants, airlines and entertainment venues — are struggling to survive despite government aid and are still cutting jobs.

The most recent layoffs follow the expiration of a $600 weekly federal check that supplied critical support for the unemployed. The Trump administration is providing a $300-a-week benefit to replace it, though some of the unemployed won’t qualify.