July 2, 2021—The number of Americans applying for unemployment aid fell last week to 364,000, the lowest level since the COVID-19 pandemic started last March.
Applications for benefits have fallen in 10 of the last 12 weeks according to a report from the Associated Press. The report cites the rollout of of vaccines as the primary factor for boosting consumer confidence in the economy and encouraging people to shop, travel, eat out and attend public events.
Though the economy recovered around 675,000 jobs in June, the report says the economy still remains around 7 million short of pre-pandemic levels. Economists project hiring to catch up to the high demand for workers in the coming months as expanded state and federal unemployment aid programs come to an end.
Despite the significant reduction in jobless claims, the number is still well above the pre-pandemic average of 220,000 weekly claims.