US unemployment claims drop to 473,000, a new pandemic low

Help wanted sign (Photo: Andreas Klinke Johannsen / CC BY-SA 2.0)

WASHINGTON (AP) — The number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits fell last week to 473,000, a new pandemic low and the latest evidence that fewer employers are cutting jobs as consumers ramp up spending and more businesses reopen.

Applications declined 34,000 from a revised 507,000 a week earlier.

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The number of weekly jobless claims — a rough measure of the pace of layoffs — has fallen significantly from a peak of 900,000 in January. Instead of cutting jobs, many employers are struggling to attract enough applicants for open positions.