Unemployment claims sink to pandemic low of 684,000

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WASHINGTON (Fox News): The number of Americans filing for first-time unemployment benefits has fallen to the lowest number since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the Labor Department.

Data released Thursday showed 684,000 Americans filed first-time jobless claims in the week ended March 20. Analysts surveyed by Refintiv were expecting 730,000 filings. The prior week’s reading was revised up by 11,000 to 781,000. Continuing claims, or the number of Americans who continued receiving unemployment benefits, fell to 3.87 million for the week ended March 13, down from an upwardly revised 4.134 million the previous week.

The drop in claims occurred during the same week that President Biden signed the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan that extended a $300 per week unemployment supplement until Sept. 6. The plan also sent $1,400 checks to most Americans and $350 billion to state and local governments, among other things.

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