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Unemployment claims jump to 744,000 as layoffs persist amid pandemic

WASHINGTON (AP) - The number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits rose last week to 744,000, signaling that many employers are still cutting jobs even as more people are vaccinated against COVID-19, consumers gain confidence and the government distributes aid throughout the economy.The Labor Department said Thursday that applications increased by 16,000 from 728,000 a week earlier.

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