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US economy purged 17 mn jobs amid pandemic

Washington: US unemployment is rising at a jarring rate, with data released Thursday showing 17 million people have lost their jobs since mid-March as officials scramble to apply a tourniquet to stem the damage from the coronavirus pandemic. The Federal Reserve launched a series of new lending programs Thursday to pump $2.3 trillion into the damaged US economy, but Fed Chair Jerome Powell tried to offer reassurance, saying the recovery could be “robust.” The Fed’s announcement came at the same time as the Labor Department’s latest weekly report showed 6.6 million more people filed for unemployment benefits last week, following 6.9 million in the prior week and 3.3…