Filings for unemployment benefits rose last week but remained near their lowest levels since the pandemic’s onset, amid signs of a broader U.S. economic recovery.
Workers filed 719,000 initial jobless claims, on a seasonally adjusted basis, in the week ended March 27, the Labor Department said Thursday. The increase followed a downward revision to 658,000 initial claims the prior week, the lowest point since the pandemic hit in March 2020.
The four-week moving average, which smooths out volatility in the numbers, fell to 719,000, also a low during the pandemic.
Initial jobless claims, a proxy for layoffs, remain well above pre-pandemic levels—the weekly average in 2019 was 218,000—but have trended downward since the start of the year.