Unemployment claims reach pandemic low 

The number of people applying for unemployment benefits last week declined to the lowest level since the pandemic began in March 2020, The Wall Street Journal reported Oct. 28.

The Labor Department reported that initial unemployment benefits fell to 281,000 last week. By comparison, in April 2020, 6.2 million people filed for unemployment. The four-week average for claims lies at 299,250, but this is still above the 2019 weekly average of 218,000.

The reduction in layoffs comes at a time of high job turnover. In August, around 4.3 million workers left their jobs, the highest monthly figure since 2000, according to the Journal. These numbers are not reflected in the unemployment claims, as those who leave a company voluntarily are not eligible for unemployment benefits. 

"You're seeing continued progress back toward the average before the pandemic," Nela Richardson, an economist at the human-resources software firm Automatic Data Processing, told the Journal.


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