U.S. unemployment benefits claims at lowest since March last year

unemployment rate
unemployment rate

The recovery in the US labor market is picking up speed again. While in previous weeks data on the number of applications for unemployment benefits disappointed market expectations, this time there was a positive surprise.

The number of applications for unemployment benefits in the United States reached 406,000 in the week ending May 22. That’s 38,000 less than a week earlier. It is also the lowest number since mid-March last year and a larger decline than analysts had expected. Authorities in the United States have seen their applications for unemployment benefits fall for the fourth week in a row.

But it is still about twice what the US was accustomed to before the pandemic. Last year, between 200,000 and 250,000 people a week applied for unemployment benefits in the first half of March. At the beginning of April, this figure soared to more than six million in one week, the highest since the Great Depression of the 1930s.

According to experts, the latest data on the number of unemployment claims is a clear confirmation that the US economic recovery is continuing and that previously adopted fiscal stimulus packages are working, as well as the Federal Reserve‘s extraordinarily loose monetary policy. However, around ten million people remain unemployed, even though many firms complain of a shortage of workers.


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