The number of unemployment benefit applications sent in last week was reportedly the lowest since the pandemic began, Bloomberg reports. Last week was the first time claims were below 700,000, with 97,000 fewer initial claims filed in regular state programs, according to data released by the Labor Department last Thursday. Additionally, unadjusted claims dropped by over 100,000, with states like Illinois and Ohio seeing a significant decline in filed claims. Jennifer Lee, senior economist at BMO Capital Markets said, “Claims definitely have peaked and they have been coming down, so they’re on the right path.” The numbers signal an improving labor market, thanks to more Americans getting vaccinated and easing restrictions placed on businesses. However, compared to the last recession, weekly claims are still very high. Lee says that she would not get “overly excited” until weekly claims fall to 300,000.
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