The number of Americans receiving jobless assistance falls to its lowest level since 1970

After another drop in applications for jobless assistance last week, the number of Americans receiving unemployment benefits fell to its lowest level in 52 years.

The number of Americans receiving jobless assistance falls to its lowest level since 1970

The number of jobless claims fell 17,000 to 249,000 to 232,000 in the week ended February 19, according the Labor Department .

The weekly average of claims fell by 7,250 to 236,250. This compensates for weekly volatility. After claims rose for five consecutive weeks, this was the third consecutive week of declines. This is after the Omicron coronavirus spread and disrupted many businesses across the U.S. The pace at which layoffs are returning to pre-pandemic levels is usually the main indicator of jobless aid eligibility for first-time applicants.



 

Robert Frick, corporate economist at Navy Federal Credit Union stated in a note that "as the wave recedes", so too have layoffs.

The total number of Americans receiving jobless assistance in the week ending February 12 was 1,476,000, a decline of around 112,000 over the previous week, and the lowest level since March 14, 1971, according to the government.

The Labor Department reported earlier this month that there was a unexpected surge in hiring in January with 467,000 new jobs added by employers. It also raised its December and November job growth estimates by 709,000. As more people started looking for work, the unemployment rate rose to 4.4% from 3.9%. However, not all of them were able to secure jobs immediately.

The country's recovery from the 2020 virus-caused recession was temporarily hampered by a spike in coronavirus infection in winter. However, employers seem confident in long-term growth. They are eager to hire.

The massive government spending and the vaccination rollout accelerated the economy's growth, with employers adding 6.4 million jobs last fiscal year. In 2021, the U.S. economy grew 5.7%, which was also the fastest rate of growth since 1984's 7.2% increase. This came after a recession.

The Federal Reserve is easing its support of the economy by lowering inflation to 7.5% year over year. The Fed indicated that it would start a series interest-rate increases in March to reverse the pandemic-era policies which fueled growth and hiring.

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