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A bleak present... US workforce depletion continues unabated, with nearly 3 million more filing claims this week. The overall numbers are closing in on 40 million. Image Credit: Reuters

New York: The number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits remained in the millions for an eighth straight week as the economy continued to reel from the coronavirus pandemic. Initial jobless claims in state programmes totaled 2.98 million in the week ended May 9.

While filings have eased for a sixth straight week, a total of 36.5 million applications for unemployment insurance have been filed since the virus began shutting down businesses in mid-March. That's nearing the level of all claims filed during the last recession, which ran for 18 months.