Unemployment claims rise for the second week in a row

COVID-19 case surge threatens the U.S. economy

The number of Americans applying for jobless aid rose for the second week in a row, signaling the economic recovery is losing speed.

Roughly 778,000 people applied for state unemployment benefits last week, up 30,000 from the previous week, the Labor Department said Friday. Another 311,000 applied for Pandemic Unemployment Insurance, a federal program for self-employed and gig workers.

"An uptick this far into the crisis underscores that the coronavirus continues to batter the economy, and the magnitude of initial claims shows no respite from new damage," AnnElizabeth Konkel, economist at the Indeed Hiring Lab, said in a note.

The intensifying pandemic is threatening to accelerate the pace of layoffs as more states and cities limit public gatherings and capacities for restaurants, bars and other businesses. 

The Associated Press contributed reporting. This is a developing story.

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