Jobless Claims Trend Downward

Roy Maurer By Roy Maurer April 22, 2021
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forlorn man at home

​States reported that 547,000 workers filed for new unemployment benefits during the week ending April 17, a decrease of 39,000 from the previous week and the lowest level of initial claims since March 2020. The total number of workers continuing to claim unemployment benefits fell to 3.6 million. The labor market recovery has been choppy in recent weeks, but the general trend in new jobless claims has been edging downward. Even with the high levels of unemployment, many employers report labor shortages as well as hiring difficulty more than one year since the pandemic began.

About 17.4 million people overall are receiving some type of unemployment aid. That includes 13 million people enrolled in the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program for gig workers and the self-employed and the Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation program, which offers an additional 24 weeks of benefits.

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