WASHINGTON (AP) — Three months after the viral outbreak shut down businesses across the country, U.S. employers are still shedding jobs at a heavy rate, a trend that points to a slow and prolonged recovery from the recession.

The number of laid-off workers seeking unemployment benefits barely fell last week to 1.5 million. That figure was down from a peak of nearly 7 million in March, and it marked an 11th straight weekly drop.

But the number is still more than twice the record high that existed before the pandemic. And the total number of people receiving jobless aid remains a lofty 20.5 million.

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