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Drop in U.S. Jobless Claims Offers Hope for Battered Economy

  • Coming weeks will show if downward trend is sustained
  • Labor market may still take time to reach pre-crisis state
Bloomberg business news
U.S. Jobless Claims Decline to Lowest Level of Pandemic
Updated on

Applications for U.S. unemployment benefits unexpectedly fell last week to the lowest since March, offering a ray of hope for an economy still battered by the pandemic.

Initial jobless claims in regular state programs fell by 249,000 to 1.19 million in the week ended Aug. 1, Labor Department data showed Thursday. That was the largest improvement in almost two months. Continuing claims -- the total number of Americans claiming ongoing unemployment benefits in those programs -- decreased to 16.1 million in the week ended July 25, the lowest since April.