Skip to content
Subscriber Only
Markets
Economics

Americans on Jobless Benefits Post First Drop of Pandemic

  • Continuing claims fell to 21.1 million in week ended May 16
  • Initial jobless claims totaled 2.12 million last week
Video player cover image
U.S. Initial Jobless Claims Fall to 2.12M Last Week From 2.45M
Updated on

U.S. states’ jobless rolls shrank for the first time during the coronavirus pandemic in a sign people are starting to return to work, even as millions more Americans filed for unemployment benefits.

Continuing claims, which tally Americans’ ongoing benefit claims in state programs, fell to 21.1 million for the week ended May 16, Labor Department figures showed Thursday. Those data are reported with a one-week lag. That suggests the job market is starting to rebound as businesses reopen. Analysts had expected an increase in continuing claims.