The number of Americans who filed new claims for unemployment benefits dropped close to pre-pandemic levels last week as labor market recovery gained pace.
- Initial claims for state unemployment benefits dropped 1,000 to a seasonally adjusted 268,000 for the week ended Nov. 13.
- The seventh consecutive weekly drop in claims left them just above the 265,000 level in mid-March 2020. Claims are within the range that is classified as a healthy labor market.
- The total number of people who claimed benefits in all programs for the week ending October 30 increased by 618,804 to 3,184,657 from the prior week.
- The continued improvement in the labor market is consistent with other data that has implied that an acceleration in economic activity after a wave of COVID-19 infections that hampered the economy.
Claims have continued to drop since mid-October implying stronger employment growth. But the pandemic has caused massive labor shortages, leaving 10.4 million job openings.
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Source: U.S. Department of Labor