WASHINGTON (AP) — The number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits fell to a fresh pandemic low last week, another sign the job market is healing after last year’s coronavirus recession.
Jobless claims dropped by 14,000 to 269,000 last week.
“This is the lowest level for initial claims since March 14, 2020 when it was 256,000,” the U.S. Department of Labor wrote Thursday. ‘’
The four-week moving average was 284,750, a decrease of 15,000 from the previous week’s revised average, officials said.
Since topping 900,000 in early January, the weekly applications have fallen more or less steadily ever since and are gradually moving toward pre-pandemic levels of around 220,000 a week.
Overall, 2.1 million Americans were collecting unemployment checks the week of Oct. 23 — down from 7.1 million a year earlier when the economy was still reeling from the coronavirus outbreak.