The number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits fell for the seventh straight week to a pandemic low of 268,000, according to an Associated Press report.
U.S. jobless claims dipped by 1,000 last week from the week before, the Labor Department reported Thursday.
The applications for unemployment aid are a proxy for layoffs, and their steady decline this year — after topping 900,000 one week in early January — reflects the labor market’s strong recovery from last year’s brief but intense coronavirus recession. The four-week average of claims, which smooths week-to-week volatility, also fell to a pandemic low just below 273,000.
Jobless claims have been edging lower, toward their pre-pandemic level of around 220,000 a week.
Overall, 2.1 million Americans were collecting traditional unemployment checks the week that ended Nov. 6, down by 129,000 from the week before.