WASHINGTON D.C.: The number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits dropped by 6,000 to 290,000 last week, the third straight weekly decrease and a new low since the pandemic erupted, the Labor Department said Thursday.
The figure reflects the fewest people to apply for benefits since March 14, 2020 when the pandemic intensified. Applications for jobless aid, which generally track the pace of layoffs, have fallen steadily, from about 900,000 in January.
However, other aspects of the job market have still not improved. Although companies have posted a record number of jobs, hiring has plunged in the past two months.
The Labor Department's report also showed that the number of people receiving jobless aid continues to fall. In the week of October 2, 3.3 million people received unemployment benefits, down from 3.6 million in the previous week.
One year ago, nearly 24 million people were accepting unemployment aid.
However, some 7 million people lost jobless benefits in September after two emergency programs, set up in March 2020, expired.