The number of Americans claiming unemployment benefits fell last week to 576,000, the lowest level since the start of the pandemic and an encouraging sign that layoffs are declining as the economy recovers from the recession.
The Labor Department said on Thursday that requests decreased by 193,000, from a revised total of 769,000 the previous week. Jobless claims have now fallen sharply from reaching a peak of 900,000 in early January.
In the week ending March 27, 16.9 million people were still receiving unemployment payments, compared to 18.2 million the previous week. These numbers clearly indicate that despite the strengthening of the economy in recent weeks, millions face loss of jobs or income and are taking jobs to pay their bills and rents.
The decrease in the number of applications comes after companies added 916,000 jobs in March, the highest total since August, a sign that a sustainable recovery is taking hold as vaccinations accelerate and restrictions lifted on companies in many states and when Americans are more willing to travel, shop and spend more in an instant. Year. The unemployment rate has dropped to 6%, less than half of the 15% peak during the pandemic.
The unemployment rate has consistently decreased, from 14.8% a year ago to 6%. The last time the rate was low, weekly claims for benefits were at 350,000, well below the current level.
Economists offer several reasons for this discrepancy. For starters, many countries are still struggling to process the backlog from previous weeks. As a result, the now reported demands could arise from layoffs weeks in advance.