First-Time Claims for Unemployment Insurance Decrease to 547,000, Lowest Total During Pandemic

by Julia Sanders

WASHINGTON, D.C. — A total of 547,000 Americans filed for first-time unemployment insurance assistance for the week that ended April 17, the U.S. Department of Labor reported Thursday. These claims were a decrease of 39,000 from last week’s revised unemployment claims of 586,000. The claims were a new pandemic low, and also lower than the Dow Jones estimate of 603,000. Continuing claims, for which data lags a week, decreased by 34,000 to nearly 3.7 million claims.

While these unemployment claims are lower than previous months, these claims are still higher than before the pandemic. In 2019, the weekly average of first-time unemployment claims was approximately 218,000, according to the The Wall Street Journal. There are also still 8 million less Americans working than before the pandemic, according to CNBC.

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