Rising US job losses stir fears of lasting economic damage

WASHINGTON (AP) — Roughly 2.1 million Americans lost their jobs last week despite the gradual reopening of businesses around the country. The number released Thursday means 41 million Americans have filed for unemployment benefits since the coronavirus shutdowns took hold in mid-March. Concerns are increasing that the scourge is doing deep and potentially long-lasting damage to the economy. The jobless numbers are extraordinarily high by historical standards, and economists say that suggests businesses are failing or permanently downsizing, not just laying off people during the crisis. A number of European countries have strong safety-net programs, but the economic damage is mounting there, too.