US unemployment will hit a post-World War 2 record high as the world's biggest economy is ravaged by the coronavirus pandemic, economists warned after millions of Americans filed for benefits in the space of one week.

A record 3.3-million people signed up for unemployment benefits last week, four times higher than the previous record high in October 1982 and 12 times the 282,000 in the previous week, the US labour department said.

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