US unemployment claims fall to 779,000 but job cuts grind on

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In this photo illustration, a person files an application for unemployment benefits on April 16, 2020, in Arlington, Virginia. (Photo by OLIVIER DOULIERY/AFP via Getty Images)

WASHINGTON — The number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits fell to 779,000 last week, a historically high total that shows that a sizable number of people are still losing jobs to the viral pandemic.

Last week’s total dropped from 812,000 the previous week, the Labor Department said Thursday, and is the lowest in two months.

Before the virus erupted in the United States in March, weekly applications for jobless aid had never topped 700,000, even during the Great Recession.

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