Fewest Americans collecting jobless aid since 1970

Keywords Unemployment

Applications for unemployment benefits inched down last week as the total number of Americans collecting aid fell to its lowest level in more than 50 years.

Jobless claims fell by 2,000, to 184,000, last week, the Labor Department said Thursday. The four-week average of claims, which levels out week-to-week volatility, rose by 4,500, to 177,250.

About 1.42 million Americans were collecting traditional unemployment benefits in the week of April 9, the fewest since Feb. 21, 1970.

Two years after the coronavirus pandemic plunged the economy into a brief but devastating recession, American workers are enjoying extraordinary job security. Weekly applications for unemployment aid, which broadly track with layoffs, have remained consistently below the pre-pandemic level of 225,000.

Last year, employers added a record 6.7 million jobs, and they’ve added an average of 560,000 more each month so far in 2022. The unemployment rate, which soared to 14.7% in April 2020 in the depths of the COVID-19 recession, is now just 3.6%, barely above the lowest point in 50 years. And there is a record proportion of 1.7 job openings for every unemployed American.

The U.S. job market and overall economy has shown remarkable resiliency despite ongoing supply chain breakdowns, the economic consequences of Russia’s war against Ukraine and the highest consumer inflation in 40 years.

Please enable JavaScript to view this content.

Story Continues Below

Editor's note: You can comment on IBJ stories by signing in to your IBJ account. If you have not registered, please sign up for a free account now. Please note our updated comment policy that will govern how comments are moderated.

2 thoughts on “Fewest Americans collecting jobless aid since 1970

    1. How does this square with the fact that we also have among the lowest work force participation rates in recorded history? What are all these non-working, non-benefits collecting people doing with their time? Living in tent cities and shooting heroin? Something is not getting captured by the propaganda generators being used here.

{{ articles_remaining }}
Free {{ article_text }} Remaining
{{ articles_remaining }}
Free {{ article_text }} Remaining Article limit resets on
{{ count_down }}