Last week, for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic started, the number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits fell below 1 million.
According to Fox Business, the latest jobless claims figures from the Labor Department “show that 963,000 workers sought aid last week, pushing the total number since the shutdown began to nearly 56 million.” The figures cover the week ending August 8th.
“Economists surveyed by Refinitiv expected 1.12 million new claims. Last week’s total was revised up by 5,000 to 1.186 million,” Fox Business added.
The figure implies that there is still hope in the job market’s recovery.
SOME GOOD NEWS: Number of Americans filing for unemployment falls below 1M for first time since pandemic started
— Senate Republicans (@SenateGOP) August 13, 2020
Prior to the pandemic, the record high was 695,000 in 1982. The last time the figures were below 1 million was on March 14th when 282,000 Americans filed for unemployment aid.
Other signs that show that the labor market is improving include employers adding 1.8 million jobs in July. The jobless rate fell to 10.2% last month.
However, Daniel Zhao, senior economist at Glassdoor, said “we’ve not yet seen the light at the end of the tunnel.”
“Seeing initial claims dip below 1 million is a positive sign that layoffs are easing, but we’re far from celebrating a steady recovery,” said Zhao.
“Tens of millions of people are still collecting unemployment benefits at a level far above the worst points of the Great Recession. We’ve not yet seen the light at the end of the tunnel for millions of workers,” Zhao added.