COVID-19 danger continues to drive joblessness in US

WASHINGTON (AP) — The number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits fell last week to 860,000, a historically high figure that reflects economic damage from the coronavirus outbreak. Before the pandemic hit the economy, the number signing up for jobless aid had never exceeded 700,000 in a week, even in the depths of the 2007-2009 Great Recession. The Labor Department also said Thursday that 12.6 million are collecting traditional unemployment benefits, compared with 1.7 million a year ago.