Support Just the News

Help Fund Honest Journalism

Donate

Weekly U.S. jobless claims last week drop to 547,000, a pandemic low

Number is sign of improving job market, as nearly one half of adult U.S. population has received at least one COVID shot.

Updated: April 22, 2021 - 3:02pm

The Facts Inside Our Reporter’s Notebook

The number of Americans applying for unemployment assistance fell last week to 547,000 – the lowest weekly number since the start of the pandemic, the Labor Department reported Thursday, a sign of an improving job market, as nearly one half of the adult U.S. population has received at least one COVID shot and much of the economy slowly reopens.  

The department reports applications declined 39,000 from a revised 586,000 a week earlier. The weekly jobless claims for the week ending April 17 and reported Thursday, compared to the peak pandemic number of 900,000 in early January, according to the Associated Press.

Still, last week’s number is roughly twice the 230,000 before the pandemic started in March of last year.

“With 135 million Americans having received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccination and the economy opening up more each day, the number of job opportunities will continue to rise,” said James Knightley, chief international economist at ING, a European bank, told the wire service.

About 17.4 million people were continuing to collect unemployment benefits in the week that ended April 3, up from 16.9 million in the previous week, the department also reports. 

Just the News Spotlight