WASHINGTON — The number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits fell sharply last week to 576,000, a hopeful sign that layoffs are easing as the economy recovers from the pandemic recession.
The Labor Department said Thursday that applications plummeted 193,000 from a revised 769,000 a week earlier. Jobless claims are now down sharply from a peak of 900,000 in early January.
According to the Associated Press, 16.9 million were still collecting benefits for the week ending March 27. Employers also added 916,000 jobs in March.