The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits has fallen to less than a million, for the first time since last March.
The Ministry of Labor said about 963,000 people sought the benefit last week, down from about 1.2 million the previous week.
The numbers slipped after peaking at 6.9 million in late March.
But the numbers are still very high, prompting a debate in Washington about the need for more stimulus.
The Labor Department said more than 28 million people – nearly one in five American workers – were still receiving aid in the week ending July 25.
Before the global Corona epidemic, the largest number of new jobless claims registered in a week was 695,000, which were recorded in 1982.
“Another larger-than-expected drop in jobless claims indicates that the job recovery is regaining some momentum, but with 28 million workers still claiming some form of unemployment benefits, there is still a lot more,” said Lydia Bosur, chief US economist at Oxford Economics. Progress in the labor market needs to be done. “
Trouble in Washington
The unemployment rate was 10.2%, down from 14.7% in April but still higher than the 10% peak during the 2007-2009 financial crisis.
Economists say the path of the economic recovery remains uncertain and is likely to get worse after the expiration of an emergency $ 600 increase in unemployment benefits, aimed at raising payments during the pandemic, last month.
Talks in Washington about the extra stimulus collapsed last week without a deal.