WASHINGTON , The number of Americans applying to unemployment benefits dropped to a new low of 267,000 last week, as the market recovers from last years sharp coronavirus decline.
The Labor Department reported Wednesday that unemployment claims dropped by 4,000 last week. The Labor Department reported Wednesday that the four-week average of claims which smooths out any weekly ups or downs fell by almost 7,300 to 278,000. This is also a pandemic low.
Since January, when they reached 900,000.000 applications for unemployment assistance, the number of applications has been declining steadily. They are slowly approaching prepandemic levels at around 220,000 per week. Six consecutive weeks have passed since claims, which are a proxy for layoffs.
Rubela Farooqi (chief U.S. economist, High Frequency Economics) stated that "Overall, there is a downtrend in filings and it is moving closer towards pre-pandemic levels." "Businesses with labor shortages will likely retain rather than lay off employees."
Since the beginning of 2018, the job market has been improving. Employers cut more than 22,000,000 jobs in March and April 2020 as governments ordered lockdowns. Workers and consumers stayed home to protect their health. Employers have created more than 18,000,000 jobs since then -- 531,000 of which were last month -- thanks to the rollouts of vaccines, government relief programs, and consumers now have the financial confidence to spend again.
Many businesses are now complaining that they cannot find the workers they need to fill their job openings, despite scrambling to keep up demand -- an almost record 10.4 million in August.
Despite this, the economy is still more than 4,000,000 jobs below where it was in February 2020.