The number of Americans applying for unemployment aid rose last week to 861,000, evidence that layoffs remain painfully high despite a steady drop in the number of confirmed viral infections. Applications from laid-off workers rose 13,000 from the previous week, which was revised sharply higher, the Labor Department said Thursday . Before the virus erupted in the United States last March, weekly applications for unemployment benefits had never topped 700,000, even during the Great Recession of 2008-2009. Initial unemployment claims Seasonally adjusted figures Jan. 1, 2000 Jan. 1, 2005 Jan. 1, 2010 Jan. 1, 2015 Jan. 1, 2020 01,000,0002,000,0003,000,0004,000,0005,000,0006,000,0007,000,000 claims_sa Week ending Oct. 31: 751 thousand High: 6.9 million 3/28 Recession Recession High: March 28 6.9 million Financial assistance claims shown are to regular state programs. Source: U.S. Department of Labor The figures underscore that the job market has stalled, with employers having added a mere […]