by Thomas Catenacci
The number of Americans filing new unemployment claims dropped to 553,000 last week as the economy continues to recover from the coronavirus pandemic, according to the Department of Labor.
The Bureau of Labor and Statistics figure released Thursday represented a decrease in the number of new jobless claims compared to the week ending April 17, when 566,000 new jobless claims were reported. That number was revised up from the 547,000 jobless claims initially reported last week.
Economists expected Thursday’s jobless claims number to come in around 528,000, The Wall Street Journal reported.
Thursday’s figure represented the lowest level for initial jobless claims since March 14, 2020, when the Labor Department reported 225,500 new claims, according to the report. But job claims skyrocketed in the outset of the coronavirus pandemic.
It wasn’t until the first week of August that new jobless claims dropped below 1 million for the first time since March 2020.
Roughly 16.6 million Americans continue to collect unemployment benefits, according to the report.”We’re not quite at a full reopening yet,” Daniel Zhao, senior economist with Glassdoor, told The New York Times. “But the light is there at the end of the tunnel.”
The U.S. economy added 916,000 jobs in March, a positive sign that the economy is recovering, according to Department of Labor data released last week. The U.S. added 379,000 jobs in February and a modest 49,000 jobs in January.
President Joe Biden announced his $2.3 trillion infrastructure package in Pennsylvania in March. The White House said the plan will create millions of “good jobs” and rebuild the nation’s infrastructure.
Average coronavirus cases and deaths per million have declined since January, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). On Wednesday, the U.S. reported 556 new coronavirus-related deaths and 50,061 new cases.
The U.S. has administered 235 million vaccinations, meaning 43% of the population has received at least one dose of a coronavirus vaccine, according to the CDC.
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Thomas Catenacci is a reporter at Daily Caller News Foundation.
Photo “Unemployment Insurance Claims Office” by Bytemarks. CC BY 2.0.