Unemployment Claims Ease for Third Consecutive Week

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While Americans continue to file unemployment claims at elevated levels, the number of applications has fallen for three consecutive weeks. Seasonally adjusted initial claims fell to 375,000 in the week-ending August 7, according to the most recent data release from the U.S. Department of Labor. That was a decline of 12,000 from the previous week’s revised level of 387,000. This latest figure was the nation’s lowest volume of weekly unemployment claims filed in five weeks and was one of the smallest rates of filings since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Weekly applications for initial unemployment benefits have been generally trending downward since the start of 2021, after peaking at 904,000 claims in January. That high point, however, was well below the peak from 2020, when unemployment claims reached 6 million in one week in April. Prior to the pandemic, the U.S. was consistently logging weekly claims below 220,000. Since the onset of the pandemic, more than 86.9 million Americans have filed initial unemployment insurance claims.