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US unemployment reaches record high

The number of people without jobs in the US has surged to a record high as the economy goes into lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic.
 
According to US Department of Labor data, almost 3.3 million people registered to claim unemployment benefits for the week ended March 21. 
 
The previous record was set in 1982, when unemployment claims hit 695,000.
 
The spike marks an abrupt end to years of slow and steady job market expansion.
 
It comes as officials in states across the US close restaurants, bars, movie theatres, hotels and gyms. 
 
Car firms have halted production and air travel has fallen precipitously. 
 
According to economists, a fifth of the US workforce is on some form of lockdown.


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