In a pandemic breakthrough, US jobless claims fall below 300,000 for the first time.
For the first time since the pandemic began, new applications for unemployment benefits in the United States have fallen below 300,000, marking a turning point in the job market’s recovery from the virus’s devastation last year.
The weekly unemployed aid applications, which swelled into the millions in March 2020, became one of the most prominent manifestations of Covid-19’s economic devastation.
They’ve been falling all year as vaccines have allowed firms to rebuild their workforces, and the Labor Department announced on Thursday that they’d fallen to 293,000 in the week ending October 9, the lowest level since the epidemic began.
On Twitter, Daniel Zhao of job search site Glassdoor wrote, “Initial claims are already within striking distance of their pre-pandemic level, which might be reached later this year when the Delta wave recedes and hiring improves.”
Even when unemployment claims approach 256,000, the number reached on March 14, 2020, the last week of normalcy, American workers face challenges.
The Delta version of the virus, which has fuelled a spike in cases in recent weeks but now looks to be ebbing, is one of them.
Nonetheless, Pantheon Macroeconomics’ Ian Shepherdson believes the numbers indicate that better days are ahead.
“Claims won’t keep declining at the same rate as they have in recent weeks,” he wrote in an analysis, “but the trend is obviously downwards, and as the economy emerges from the Delta wave, layoffs will continue to decline.”
Although the fast-spreading Delta variant’s surge of illnesses halted that trend in recent weeks, claims remained elevated for much of 2020 before vaccinations produced a dramatic drop this year.
Last week’s claims were 36,000 lower than the week before, according to the data, and another 21,624 claims were filed under the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program, which was meant to help freelance workers who aren’t ordinarily eligible for aid but has since expired.
As of the week ended September 25, the most recent week for which statistics was available, more than 3.6 million people were receiving unemployment benefits under all programs.
According to the report, insured unemployment, or the percentage of workers who receive benefits, has reached a new low.
On October 2, there were 2,593,000 persons getting regular payments, down 134,000 from the previous week and the lowest amount since the outbreak began.
According to the data, the insured unemployment rate was 1.9 percent that week, slightly lower than the previous week.
“The statistics from the claims are consistent with an. The Washington Newsday Brief News is a daily newspaper published in Washington, D.C.