Unemployment claims drop to lowest level in more than a year

The number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits fell last week to by 34,000 to come in at their lowest level since March of 2020, an indication that fewer employers are cutting jobs.

In its weekly report, the US Bureau of Labor Statics showed just 473,000 People applying for initial unemployment benefits, with only four states posting increases.  The largest state-by-state declines in initial unemployment claims came from Virginia (-25,125), New York (-9,533), Florida (-8,252), and California (-7,840).

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“I think you would have been hard pressed to speak to somebody a year ago who would have, with confidence, predicted where will we be today in terms of the economic recovery and the labor market or in terms of having the vaccine and multiple vaccines,” said Dr. Sean Snaith, an economist at UCF.

While economists say the initial unemployment data is promising it comes less than a week after a disappointing jobs report which showed lackluster hiring across the country.

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“Yes the payroll report was disappointing but it’s not because businesses aren’t hiring they just haven’t been able to hire the number of job openings continues to rise,” said Snaith.