The Department of Labor reported weekly initial jobless claims totaled 498,000 for the week ending May 1. The figure is the first weekly initial jobless total under 500,000 since March 14, 2020.
The week ending March 14, 2020, initial jobless claims totaled 256,000.
The Labor Department said weekly claims decreased 92,000 from a week earlier. The four-week moving average totaled 560,000, a decrease of 61,000 from the previous week and the lowest level since March 14, 2020.
Continuing jobless claims rose slightly for the week ending May 1. The Labor Department said continuing claims totaled 3.786 million, up 2,533 from the previous week. Including pandemic jobless aid programs for independent owners and gig workers, jobless claims totaled 16.157 million for the week ending April 17. That figure was down 404,509 from the previous week.