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Unemployment Claims Drop to a New Pandemic Low

Unemployment Claims Drop to a New Pandemic Low

As the job market continues healing and fewer workers are being laid off, the number of Americans applying for initial unemployment benefits dropped to a new pandemic-era low. In the week-ending June 26, roughly 364,000 Americans filed jobless claims for the first time, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. The last time fewer claims were filed was the week of March 14, 2020, prior to the economic devastation brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition, the latest tally was down 51,000 claims from the previous week’s level and was fewer than the 388,000 claims economists were expecting. The number of jobless claims is generally a proxy for the pace of layoffs. As the job market has strengthened, the number of weekly applications for unemployment assistance has generally fallen throughout most of 2021 and is down dramatically from the 2021 high of 904,000 claims filed during the week of January 9. The peak from 2020 was historical, when 6.1 million people filed claims in the week-ending April 4. In the early weeks of 2020, before the pandemic started, the U.S. was consistently logging weekly claims below 220,000. Since the onset of the pandemic, nearly 84.6 million Americans have filed initial unemployment insurance claims.