Initial unemployment claims for the week ending April 24 dropped 13,000 to 553,000, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported on Thursday (April 29). The previous week’s level was revised up by 19,000 from 547,000 to 566,000. This is the third consecutive week claims are below 600,000 since the COVID-19 pandemic gripped the country.
The advance unemployment rate was 2.6 percent for the week ending April 17, unchanged from the previous week’s unrevised rate. The advance number for seasonally adjusted insured unemployment during the week ending April 17 was 3.66 million, up 9,000 from the previous week’s revised level, revised down by 23,000.
Continued weekly claims for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance for the week ending April 10 were 6,974,068.
States with the highest insured unemployment rates in the week ending April 10 were Nevada (5.9), Connecticut (5.3), Alaska (4.9), New York (4.6), Illinois (4.3), Vermont (4.1), Rhode Island (4.0), Pennsylvania (3.9), District of Columbia (3.7), and New Mexico (3.7).
The Wall Street Journal survey of economists had forecast that 528,000 initial jobless claims would be filed for the week ended April 24. The U.S. added 916,000 jobs in March, and economists anticipate a hiring average of at least 500,000 jobs a month, a surge that is expected to continue into 2022.
“Like the winning combination of three cherries on a slot machine, we should see three-in-a-row with respect to weekly declines in new claims for unemployment benefits. As a welcome surprise, new claims dropped in both of the previous two weeks,” Bankrate senior economic analyst Mark Hamrick told Yahoo Finance. “Still, the total number of individuals receiving some form of unemployment assistance remains elevated. That is expected to be the case for some time to come.”
Six months ago, new jobless claims were 751,000, a decline of 40,000 from the previous week, which was the lowest number since the start of the pandemic in March 2020.
Just before lockdowns and other pandemic-related restrictions started to take hold, new claims filed were 282,000. In less than two weeks’ time, new claims for unemployment benefits hit a record 3.28 million.
Selected by EFXA