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Number of Americans Applying for Unemployment Drops to Lowest Level in Over 50 Years

In another great sign of the U.S. job market rebounding from last year’s coronavirus recession, the number of Americans applying for unemployment dropped last week to the lowest level in over 50 years.

According to AP News, jobless claims plummeted by 71,000 to 199,000, the lowest since mid-November 1969. Though, seasonal adjustments around the Thanksgiving holiday probably contributed significantly to the bigger-than-expected drop. The four-week average of claims dropped by 21,000 to just over 252,000, the lowest since when the pandemic first slammed the economy in mid-March 2020. Since its peak of over 900,000, the applications have steadily fallen toward and are now below the pre-pandemic level of around 220,000 a week.

Overall, 2 million Americans collected traditional unemployment checks the week that ended Nov. 13, down slightly from the previous week. The job market has staged a remarkable comeback since the spring of 2020 when the coronavirus pandemic forced businesses to close or cut hours and the lockdown kept many Americans at home as a health precaution. In March and April of last year, employers slashed more than 22 million jobs.

Government relief checks, super-low interest rates, and the rollout of vaccines combined give consumers the confidence and financial wherewithal to start spending again. Due to this unexpected surge in demand, employers have made 18 million new hires since April 2020 and are expected to add another 575,000 this month, says AP News.


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