U.S. jobless claims exceed 6 million for 2nd straight week

The number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits in the last three weeks has blown past 15 million, with weekly new claims topping 6 million for the second straight week.

Thursday’s weekly jobless claims report from the Labor Department, the most timely data on the economy’s health, strengthens economists’ expectations of job losses of up to 20 million in April and their conviction that the economy is in deep recession.

The government reported last Friday that the economy purged 701,000 jobs in March. That was the most job losses since the Great Recession and ended the longest employment boom in U.S. history that started in late 2010.