Money & The Economy

Jobless Claims Drop To 576,000, Lowest Level Since March 2020

The number of Americans filing new unemployment claims dropped to 576,000 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 large decrease in the number of new jobless claims compared to the week ending April 3, when 769,000 new jobless claims were reported. That number was revised up from the 744,000 jobless claims initially reported last week.

The number represented the lowest level for initial jobless claims since March 14, 2020, days after the World Health Organization declared coronavirus a pandemic, according to the Labor Department.

Roughly 16.9 million Americans continue to collect unemployment benefits, according to the report.

Economists expected Thursday’s jobless claims number to come in around 710,00, The Wall Street Journal reported. New jobless claims fell below 1 million in the first week of August, the first time weekly claims had fallen below 1 million since March 2020.

“The labor market is on a recovery path,” AnnElizabeth Konkel, economist at the job site Indeed, told the WSJ. “The recovery is 100% tied to the public health situation.”

The U.S. economy added a whopping 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.

The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and International Monetary Fund (IMF) have both been bullish in U.S. economic growth projections. The OECD projected that U.S. gross domestic product would surge 6.5% in 2021 while the IMF expects 6.4% growth.

Consumer prices increased 0.6% in March, the highest single-month increase in almost nine years.

President Joe Biden announced his $2.3 trillion infrastructure package in Pennsylvania last month. The White House said the plan will create millions of “good jobs” and rebuild the nation’s infrastructure.

However, the Biden administration overstated how many new jobs the plan would create by roughly 600%. The plan has also been criticized by business groups, which say it would create barriers to job creation and economic growth since it proposes a corporate tax hike.

Jobless claims hovered around 200,000 per week before the pandemic, according to The WSJ.

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 769 new coronavirus-related deaths and 76,120 new cases.

The U.S. has administered 123.9 million vaccinations, meaning 37.3% of the population has received at least one dose of a coronavirus vaccine, according to the CDC.

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