US jobless claims rise to 719K as virus still forces layoffs

Virus Outbreak California Jobs
Posted at 10:04 AM, Apr 01, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-01 13:53:10-04

WASHINGTON — The number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits rose by 61,000 last week to 719,000, signaling that many employers are still cutting jobs even as more businesses reopen, vaccines are increasingly administered and federal aid spreads through the economy.

New claims are up in Utah and the U.S. while continued claims are down nationally and in Utah.

READ: Unemployment benefit claims drop for eighth straight week in Utah

The Labor Department said Thursday that the number of claims increased from 684,000 the week before.

Though the pace of applications has dropped sharply since early this year, they remain high by historical standards: Before the pandemic flattened the economy a year ago, jobless claims typically ran below 220,000 a week.