First-Time Claims for Unemployment Insurance Decrease to 684,000, Lowest Figure Since Pandemic

WASHINGTON, D.C. — A total of 684,000 Americans filed for unemployment assistance for the week that ended March 20, the U.S. Department of Labor reported Thursday. This week was the first-time total claims fell below 700,000 since the pandemic started, according to CNBC. The amount of initial jobless claims was lower than the 735,000 figure that economists surveyed by Dow Jones predicted and is a decrease from last week’s revised amount of 770,000. Continuing claims, for which data lags a week, decreased to a little more than 3.8 million.

Employers in the United States added 379,000 jobs last month, and the unemployment rate decreased to 6.2 percent. With jobs rebounding, the $1.9 trillion stimulus and the continued rollout of COVID-19 vaccines, economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal increased their 2021 economic growth forecast for the U.S. GDP to a little over 5.9 percent on an annualized basis. If realized, it will be the fastest economic growth pace in about four decades.

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