When the COVID-19 pandemic rapidly descended on the U.S. economy in the winter of 2020, one of the first economic data points that captured the sheer scale of the looming disaster was weekly initial jobless claims.
For the week ending March 21, 2020, initial claims skyrocketed to record-breaking levels as lockdowns roiled the jobs market. At their peak in April 2020, more than 6 million Americans made first-time claims for unemployment assistance in a single week. And for 20 weeks in a row, more than a million people filed initial jobless claims.
But as the economy re-opens and the vaccine continues to be rolled out, life has slowly begun normalizing in the U.S. Now, we are starting to see signs that this data – after having remained stubbornly high for months – is starting to moderate, finally.
On Thursday, we learned that for the week ending April 10, some 576,000 Americans filed for unemployment insurance. This is the lowest number since the week ended March 14, 2020, when the pandemic first began throttling the economy.
Read the full column from Myles Udland at Yahoo Finance here.
Last week also marks the first time since the beginning of the pandemic that the number of people filing for unemployment insurance fell below the peak of 665,000 weekly claims seen after the financial crisis.