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Unprecedented job loss in US and Missouri

WASHINGTON (AP) — Nearly 10 million Americans have lost their jobs and applied for unemployment benefits in the past two weeks — a stunning record high that reflects the near-complete shutdown of the U.S. economy.

Job losses related to the coronavirus are sure to rise further in coming weeks, with economists saying the U.S. unemployment rate could reach as high as 15%, well above the 10% peak during the Great Recession. As recently as February, the unemployment rate was just 3.5%, a 50-year low.

(MissouriNet) — More than 146,000 Missourians have filed for unemployment over the past two weeks, compared to about 7,000 filings during the first two weeks of March. The figures show the coronavirus pandemic is hitting Missouri workers and the economy hard by temporarily shuttering many businesses. During today’s Capitol presser, Governor Parson says he’s aware that residents are struggling to get through to the Department of Labor.

The department says it has ramped up staffing to help field a record-breaking number of unemployment claims and has boosted server capacity to prevent its website from crashing again. A spokesperson says more than 300 workers are answering calls and emails each day.

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