U.S. Labor Market Strengthens Again as Jobless Claims Hit New Post-Covid Low

© Reuters.

By Geoffrey Smith — The improvement in the U.S. labor market continued last week as the service sector in particular built on recent gains thanks to the relaxation of lockdown measures across the country.

The number of people making for jobless benefits fell to 547,000 last week, their lowest since the start of the pandemic, from an upwardly-revised 586,000 the week before, the Labor Department said in a weekly release.

The number of continuing claims under regular state programs fell to 3.764 million, from 3.708 million a week earlier. are reported with a one-week lag to initial claims.

Analysts had expected initial claims to rise modestly to 617,000.

The broader measure of people claiming benefits under all unemployment-related insurance programs, which has been consistently volatile this year, rose by just under 500,000 to 17.405 million in the week through April 3.

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