US weekly jobless claims lowest since pandemic started


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 Initial unemployment claims in the US fell to 684,000 last week, the lowest level since the Covid-19 pandemic ravaged the labour market early last year, the Labour Department reported.

In the week ending March 20, the number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits decreased by 97,000 from the previous week's upwardly revised level of 781,000, according to a report released on Thursday by the Department's Bureau of Labour Statistics.

The latest report also showed that the number of people continuing to collect regular state unemployment benefits in the week ending March 13 decreased by 264,000 to reach 3.87 million, reports Xinhua news agency.

Meanwhile, the total number of people claiming benefits in all programs, state and federal combined, for the week ending February 27 increased by 733,862 to 18.95 million, as the country continues to grapple with the fallout of the pandemic.

Last spring as Covid-19 shutdowns rippled through the workforce, initial jobless claims spiked by 3 million to reach a record 3.3 million in the week ending March 21, 2020, and then doubled to reach a record 6.87 million in the week ending March 28.

After that, the number, though at record highs, has been declining overall, but the trend was reversed multiple times since mid-July amid a Covid-19 resurgence and a slowing economic recovery.

Source: IANS

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