Unemployment Plummets to Lowest Level Since Lockdowns Hit

The number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits fell last week to 751,000, the lowest since March.

Applications for unemployment aid fell 40,000 from the previous week, the Labor Department said Thursday.

They fell in 30 states, including big drops in California, Florida and Texas. Claims rose significantly in Arizona, Illinois and Michigan.

The government said Thursday that the economy expanded at a record 33 percent annual rate in the July-September quarter.

That’s a sharp rebound after an epic collapse in the spring, when the economy shrank at a 31.4 percent annual rate. But the increase recovers only about two-thirds of what was lost to lockdown measures.

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Thursday’s report from the Labor Department said the number of people who are continuing to receive unemployment benefits fell more than 700,000 to 7.76 million.

The decline shows that some of the unemployed are being recalled to their old jobs or are finding new ones.

Job growth has slowed for three straight months, leaving the economy still 10.7 million jobs short of its pre-lockdown level. The unemployment rate is 7.9 percent.

Layoffs have continued at some large companies.

Do you think the economy will continue to recover?

Boeing said Wednesday that it will now cut 30,000 jobs by the end of next year, almost one-fifth of its entire workforce, up from an earlier announcement that it would shed 19,000.

Home and auto sales have emerged as bright spots in the economy and have helped strengthen U.S. manufacturing.

Government shutdown orders have done much more harm to in-person services and cost the jobs of millions of workers at restaurants, bars, gyms and theaters.

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