US jobless claims fall to pandemic low as economy accelerates


Applications for U.S. state unemployment insurance unexpectedly plunged to a fresh pandemic low as the job market recovery gathers steam.

Initial claims in regular state programs decreased by 39,000 to 547,000 in the week ended April 17, Labor Department data showed Thursday. Economists in a Bloomberg survey estimated 610,000 claims. The prior week’s figure was revised up to 586,000.

The job market is strengthening as employers look to fill positions that were left empty by pandemic restrictions that have now been eased. Growth should speed up even more following a nationwide goal of administering an average of three million vaccinations per day. The claims data follow strong manufacturing, retail sales and other indicators in recent weeks.

U.S. stocks fluctuated and Treasuries stabilized. A separate report Thursday showed sales of previously owned homes slid in March to a seven-month low.

Continuing claims for ongoing state benefits fell 34,000 to 3.67 million in the week ended April 10. Applications for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance for self-employed and gig workers rose slightly.

Texas and New York were among states with the largest declines, while Florida and Georgia also saw sizeable decreases.

–With assistance from Chris Middleton and Sophie Caronello.

–By Payne Lubbers (Bloomberg)

Source : AutoFinanceNews