NATIONWIDE – Nearly 3 million laid-off workers applied for U.S. unemployment benefits last week as the viral outbreak led more companies to slash jobs even though most states have begun to let some businesses reopen under certain restrictions. 

Roughly 36 million people  have now filed for jobless aid in the two months since the coronavirus first forced millions of businesses to close their doors and shrink their workforces, the Labor Department said Thursday.

What You Need To Know

  • Nearly 3 million people applied for unemployment benefits last week

  • Roughly 36 million people have been laid off since pandemic began

  • April's unemployment rate highest since the Great Depression

  • 214,028 filed for unemployment in California last week

Still, the number of first-time applications has now declined for six straight weeks, suggesting that a dwindling number of companies are reducing their payrolls

April's unemployment rate was 14.7 percent, the highest since the Great Depression. Even as some states, and California counties, begin reopening, it's not clear how quickly jobs will return.

In California, 214,028 people filed for unemployment last week.