(NBC) – The U.S. jobs market is improving, slightly, according to the Labor Department.
406,000 people filed for first-time unemployment claims last week. This is well above the norms before the pandemic crisis began, but these numbers represent the closest to pre-pandemic levels we’ve seen.
Recently, first-time claims for unemployment have made a shift downward as the number of COVID cases declines sharply and businesses begin reopening.
Continuing claims, or the number of people filing for unemployment for two weeks or more, fell sharply, down to 3.64 million.
15.8 million people are receiving benefits under all programs, which is moving lower as fewer people are applying through special pandemic-related programs.