The number of Americans who filed for new unemployment benefits rose unexpectedly last week, although the labor market recovery is gaining traction as economic activity accelerates in the face of increased vaccination and strong fiscal stimulus.
Initial claims for unemployment benefits totaled 719,000 in seasonally adjusted data for the week ending March 27, the Labor Department said on Thursday.
In the previous week there were 658 thousand orders, the lowest number since mid-March 2020, when the mandatory closing of non-essential businesses was adopted in many states to contain the first wave of infections by Covid-19.
Economists consulted by Reuters projected 680,000 orders in the last week.
The job market seems to be recovering after closing 306 thousand vacancies in December thanks to the acceleration in the rate of vaccination, which allows more Business reopened.
The White House’s $ 1.9 trillion relief package is sending additional checks of $ 1,400 to eligible families and extending the government safety net for the unemployed until September 6, which improves consumer spending.
But it is still a long way from full recovery. Aid applications remain above the peak of 665,000 seen during the 2007-09 Great Recession.
In a healthy job market, orders typically range from 200,000 to 250,000.
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