Joe Biden continues to clean up Donald Trump's mess, as new weekly jobless claims, while still ludicrously high thanks to Republican mismanagement of the economy, are finally going down towards pre-pandemic levels.
The number of Americans applying for jobless aid fell to its lowest level since the coronavirus pandemic erupted a year ago. Some 684,000 people applied for unemployment benefits in the week ending March 20, the Labor Department said Thursday. The number, adjusted for seasonal variation, is a drop of 97,000 from the week before.
Another 241,000 people applied for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, a federal program for the self-employed and gig workers.
"Today's unemployment report shows a slowly-improving labor market, as for the first time in over a year, the Department of Labor has reported fewer than 1 million new claims for benefits," Andrew Stettner, senior fellow at the Century Foundation, said in a statement.
Prior to the pandemic, a typical week saw around 250,000 new unemployment claims, and the number never topped 700,000, even during the depths of the Great Recession. Economists predict that fewer people will file for benefits in the coming weeks as more people receive vaccines and businesses reopen.
"[W]e expect claims to fall sharply as the economy reopens fully across the second quarter," Ian Shepherdson of Pantheon Macroeconomics told investors in a note.
We're still in the Trump Depression, folks. It's taken three multi-trillion dollar stimulus packages just to keep the country from sinking beneath the waves, a government GDP boost of more than 50% of 2019 numbers just to get to the point of massive food bank car lines and only 10 million jobs lost for good.
But things are finally starting to stabilize. A lot of work still has to be done, and a lot of things still have to go right. Luckily, we're finally in a position where that can begin to happen.