BOSTON (CBS/AP) — The number of laid-off workers seeking U.S. unemployment benefits rose to 1.1 million last week after two weeks of declines, evidence that employers are still cutting large numbers of jobs as the coronavirus bedevils the U.S. economy.

The latest figures suggest that more than five months after the viral outbreak erupted the economy is still weak, despite recent gains as some businesses reopen and some sectors like housing and manufacturing have rebounded. A rising number of people who have lost jobs say they consider their loss to be permanent.

“A partial economic bounceback looks to be sputtering out,” AnnElizabeth Konkel, an economist at the Indeed Hiring Lab, said in a note reported by CBS News.

In Massachusetts, 16,709 people field initial claims for unemployment benefits last week. That’s up almost 2,000 from the prior week.

Additionally, 12,282 people sought benefits from the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program, which covers independent contractors and “gig economy” workers who are not typically in the unemployment system. That’s up from 8,750 in the week prior.

Learn more about applying for unemployment benefits in Massachusetts here.

(© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

 

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