An additional 1.9 million people filed initial claims for unemployment last week, the Labor Department reported Thursday, bringing the total number of Americans who have sought aid since the start of the coronavirus lockdown to around 42 million. However, it’s the first time since mid-March that the number of new Americans filing for unemployment benefits dropped below 2 million. New jobless claims have declined each week since hitting a record 6.9 million in late March. The claims remain incredibly high when compared to any seen before the pandemic, but recent data suggests the very worst is over for the labor market. The government’s employment report for May, scheduled for release tomorrow, is likely to show another significant drop in payrolls after a staggering 20 million plunge in April.
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