547,000 Americans sought unemployment benefits last week, a new pandemic low

Figure still double pre-pandemic levels
Posted at 8:47 AM, Apr 22, 2021

WASHINGTON — The number of Americans applying for unemployment aid fell last week to 547,000, a new low since the pandemic struck and a further encouraging sign that layoffs are slowing on the strength of an improving job market.

The Labor Department said Thursday that applications declined 39,000 from a revised 586,000 a week earlier.

Weekly jobless claims are down sharply from a peak of 900,000 in early January.

But they’re still far above the roughly 250,000 level that prevailed before the viral outbreak ripped through the economy in March of last year.