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Weekly Jobless Claims at 576,000, Lowest Since March 2020

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The weekly number of unemployment claims finally saw a steep decrease last week, even exceeding analysts’ expectations, reflecting a reopening of the economy.

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For the week ending April 10, the weekly number of unemployment claims fell to 576,000, a decrease of 193,000 from the previous week’s revised level, according to the Labor Department. This is the lowest level for initial claims since March 14, 2020 when it was 256,000. The previous week’s average was revised up by 6,500, from 723,750 to 730,250.

The level reported on April 1 was revised up by 9,000, from 719,000 to 728,000.

Economists expected 710,000 workers to file for initial unemployment benefits last week, according to The Wall Street Journal.

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To put these figures in context, pre-pandemic, first-time unemployment benefit filers had typically numbered only about 225,000 weekly. For example, for the week ending Feb. 29, 2020, the figure stood at 217,000 claims, according to Labor Department data. However, for the week ending April 11, 2020, claims stood at an eye-popping 4,869,000.

Andrew Hunter, cofounder of job search engine Adzuna, tells GOBankingRates, “We’re beginning to see unemployment claims tick down again — a clear signal that the economy is in recovery and the labor market is bouncing back.”

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Hunter adds that this “is very good news for those who have been out of work or are looking for something new — with ample opportunity for job seekers to advance in their careers, start fresh or develop professionally no matter what field they are pursuing.”

These newest figures are in line with the Labor Department report that the U.S. added 916,000 jobs in March, boosted by the leisure and hospitality sector, representing the strongest month since last summer and beating economists’ expectations. This nascent economic recovery is also reflected in the decrease in the unemployment rate from 6.2% in February to 6% in March, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

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