By Lucia Mutikani
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The global novel coronavirus crisis continues to batter the U.S. labor market, with millions more Americans, including white collar workers, expected to have filed for unemployment benefits last week as the hit from the pandemic spills over into a broader swath of the economy.
Thursday’s weekly jobless claims report from the Labor Department, the most timely data on the economy’s health, would cement economists’ expectations for a third straight month of massive job losses in May. The report would come a day after Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell warned of an “extended period” of weak growth and stagnant incomes.
The economy lost a staggering 20.5 million jobs in April, the steepest plunge in payrolls since the Great Depression of the 1930s, as businesses were locked down to slow the spread of