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  • Ryan Wittler

First-time Jobless Claims Fall Again, Reaching Another Pandemic-era Low

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First-time claims for unemployment insurance dropped to 547,000 last week, a new-low for the pandemic-era. The figure is well-below the Dow Jones estimate of 603,000 and is a drop from the previous week’s 576,000 claims. Good & bad: The record low in new claims is a welcome drop and all but confirms that last week’s plunge was no fluke, hopefully cementing further declines over the next few months. Making it even more encouraging is the fact that continuing claims dropped by 34,000, another pandemic-era low and sign that jobs are coming back. Still, despite the good news, the 547,000 figure is still far above the roughly 230,000 weekly claims averaged before the pandemic. Overall, about 8 million fewer Americans are at work than before COVID, and some 17.4 million are still receiving benefits under various programs. Biden’s American Jobs Plan -- the $2.3 trillion infrastructure package he presented on March 31 -- is aimed at remedying this; an update on negotiations for that plan is expected by Memorial Day.

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