August 2, 2021

U.S. unemployment claims sink 51,000 to new pandemic low of 364,000

The numbers: New applications for unemployment benefits sank by 51,0000 last week to a new pandemic low of 364,000, underscoring a rapid recovery in the U.S. economy and more aggressive efforts by companies to hire workers.

The decline in new claims was bigger than expected. Economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal had forecast new claims would total a seasonally adjusted 390,000. These are traditional benefits paid by the states.

An additional 115,267 applications for benefits were filed through a temporary federal-relief program set up during the pandemic, the government said Thursday.

The number of people applying for state or federal benefits each week is still more than double the pre-pandemic average. They’ve fallen more slowly in the past few months despite record job openings and stepped-up attempts by many businesses to add…

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