The total number of American citizens
seeking unemployment aid dropped to 498,000 in the week ending on May 1, declining
by 92,000 claims from 590,000 the previous week, reported AFP, citing data from
the US Labor Department.

The total number of claims made in the
week signalled a new low since the COVID-19 outbreak started in full swing in
the United States. The weekly figure of jobless claims, a rough figure often
used to understand the rate of layoffs, had a peak of 900,000 in January, and
since then, has seen a substantial fall.

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“The level remains high, but filings are moving in the right
direction, indicative of improving labor market conditions,” Rubeela
Farooqi from High Frequency Economics was quoted by AFP as saying.

The report is indicative of a recovering job market, aided by
mass vaccinations in the country which has allowed economic activity to largely
return to normalcy.

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While claims went down last months, reports noted that the
graph went upwards on April 24, indicating a high of 24,000 in that particular

Reportedly, a total of 16.2 million people had sought some sort
of unemployment benefit as of the week ending on April 27.