The Labor Department released its weekly unemployment statistics on Thursday. It showed that another 444,000 workers filed for unemployment benefits in the week ending on May 15th. That's the lowest number of filers since before the pandemic, but it's still about twice as high as it would be in a healthy economy. We won't return to normal until the pandemic is under control -- and while things seem to be getting better, control has not been established.
Here is the official Labor Department statement:
In the week ending May 15, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 444,000, a decrease of 34,000 from the previous week's revised level. This is the lowest level for initial claims since March 14, 2020 when it was 256,000. The previous week's level was revised up by 5,000 from 473,000 to 478,000. The 4-week moving average was 504,750, a decrease of 30,500 from the previous week's revised average. This is the lowest level for this average since March 14, 2020 when it was 225,500. The previous week's average was revised up by 1,250 from 534,000 to 535,250.