Those seeking unemployment aid continues to fall, as the number fell below 500,000 last week for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic began more than a year ago. At its peak in January, more than 900,000 people were filling out jobless claims each week. This is still well above the 230,000 mark that we saw before the pandemic hit.
In March, employers added nearly one million jobs, which was the most since August. The United States Labor Department expects to see the same job report for April when those numbers get released on Friday. Even with those expected numbers, there will still be seven million fewer jobs than when the pandemic began.
Thursday’s report showed that as of mid-April, about 16.2 million Americans were continuing to draw unemployment benefits. That number is also an improvement from the week before. In the first quarter of 2021, the economy grew at a 6.4 percent rate and the unemployment rate currently sits at six percent.