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U.S. Jobless Claims Fall to 364K, A New Pandemic Low

Applications for unemployment benefits has fallen once again, this time to the lowest level seen during the pandemic. This comes as further evidence of broader economic recovery from the COVID-19 Pandemic.

The Labor Department reported Thursday that jobless claims dropped by 51,000 to 364,000. Applications for unemployment benefits have fallen more or less steadily since the year began. The rollout of vaccines has sharply reduced new COVID-19 cases, giving consumers the confidence to shop, travel, eat out and attend public events as the economy recovers.

“As life normalizes and the service sector continues to gain momentum, we expect initial jobless claims to remain in a downtrend,” said Joshua Shapiro, chief U.S. economist at the consulting firm Maria Fiorini Ramirez.

On Friday, according to the data provider FactSet, the government is expected to report that employers added 675,000 jobs in June. That would be a substantial number but still not at a pace that would allow the economy to quickly regain its pre-pandemic level of employment. The job market remains nearly 7 million jobs short of that level. 

Despite the significant improvement since then, claims remain high by historic standards. Before the pandemic flattened the economy in March 2020, the weekly figure typically numbered around 220,000.

See the full article from Arkansas Business here.