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50,000 more Marylanders file for unemployment benefits

More than 50,000 Marylanders successfully filed claims for unemployment benefits last week, according to the Maryland Department of Labor.

The state reported 51,108 claims were filed last week, less than half the number filed two weeks prior. There were also about 15,000 fewer claims than the week before. In the past nine weeks, the state has received 613,676 jobless claims, according to Maryland Department of Labor data.

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The number of Americans thrown out of work since the coronavirus crisis struck two months ago has climbed to nearly 39 million, the government said Thursday.

More than 2.4 million people applied for unemployment benefits last week in the latest wave of layoffs from the outbreak that has triggered nationwide business shutdowns and brought the economy to its knees, the Labor Department reported. That brings the running total to a staggering 38.6 million.

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An additional 2.2 million sought aid under a new federal program for self-employed, contractor and gig workers, who are now eligible for unemployment benefits for the first time. Those figures aren’t adjusted for seasonal variations, so they are not included in the overall number of applications.

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said the unemployment rate could peak in May or June at 20% to 25% — a level unseen since the depths of the Great Depression in the 1930s.

As of April, unemployment stood at 14.7%, a figure also unmatched since the era when President Franklin D. Roosevelt was assuring Americans that the only thing to fear was fear itself.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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