Fed vows another $2.3 trillion in “Main Street” loans

The Federal Reserve is taking additional steps to provide up to $2.3 trillion in loans to support American households and businesses, as well as local governments, as they deal with the coronavirus.The Fed said Thursday that it is activating a Main Street Lending Program authorized by the $2.3 trillion economic relief bill pass by Congress last month. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said the Fed's role was to "provide as much relief and stability as we can during this period of constrained economic activity." Coronavirus: The Race To Respond › More in Coronavirus: The Race To Respond The Fed announcement came as the U.S. Department of Labor said on Thursday that about 6.6 million people filed for unemployment benefits in the week ended April 4. That brings the total number of Americans on unemployment to 16.8 million in just a month, experts said, wiping out nearly all the jobs gained under both Barack Obama and President Donald Trump the past decade.  Coronavirus' crushing impact on small business in America Unemployment claims, reported weekly, are a barometer for the job market because they indicate how many workers have lost their jobs amid the coronavirus pandemic.  -- This is a developing story and will be updated.