As restrictions on businesses are lifted and COVID-19 cases steadily decrease due to the nationwide vaccination campaign, fewer Americans are filing new claims for unemployment benefits. In the week-ending May 22, roughly 406,000 Americans filed initial jobless claims, a decrease of 38,000 filings from the previous week, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. That marks the fourth consecutive week of declines in jobless claims, with all four weeks representing the lowest levels since the beginning of the pandemic. Shrinking unemployment claims, a proxy for layoffs, come as many employers begin hiring again amid the reopening of state economies from coast to coast. Though the most recent unemployment claims are the lowest seen during the pandemic, they’re still more than double the roughly 200,000 weekly claims submitted pre-COVID-19. According to revised data, nearly 81.3 million people have filed initial unemployment insurance claims since the onset of the pandemic.