As post-pandemic months go on, the economy continues to experience slight improvements following one of the worst slowdowns since the Great Depression when coronavirus stay-at-home orders forced businesses to shut down.
The federal government released data on Thursday showing that new jobless claims fell by more than 10,000 last week, as indicated by unemployment benefits filings.
The Labor Department reported that jobless claims declined to 340,000, which is down 14,000 from the previous week.
To put this in perspective, at its worst during the height of the pandemic lockdowns forcing Americans out of jobs, there were about 6.1 million new jobless claims in a single week.
While new jobless claims dropped, a more important metric saw even more impressive progress now that the federal government’s pandemic housing protection measures are being lifted.
The agency’s report also revealed that the number of Americans continuing to receive unemployment benefits has plunged by 160,000, according to Reuters. As of the week ending August 21, the total number of people receiving benefits is now about 2.75 million, which is reportedly the lowest level since March 2020.
Amid a serious labor shortage as businesses continue to see higher foot traffic, layoffs have dropped to the lowest level in more than 24 years, the outlet added.
The update on jobless claims and layoffs for the last week of August is an encouraging sign that the U.S. economy could be on its way to a full recovery if this momentum continues.
Since the Supreme Court overturned the federal government’s extended temporary eviction moratorium, Americans may be more willing to return to work as extra coronavirus financial assistance is stripped away.
While these numbers appear to be promising, the Labor Department’s full report for August that will be released on Friday will give economists a better idea of where we are on the road to economic recovery.