News US Economy News Initial Unemployment Claims Hit a New Pandemic Low By Rob Anthes Rob Anthes Twitter Rob Anthes uses his economics degree and a love of spreadsheets to shed light on how this era of rapid change affects your finances. A journalist for more than 14 years, he was managing editor at New Jersey-based Community News Service before tackling inflation and the student loan debate as a reporter for The Balance. learn about our editorial policies Published on July 1, 2021 Fact checked by Glenn Hunter Fact checked by Glenn Hunter Glenn Hunter has written or edited thousands of articles over four decades, including on the savings and loan and subprime mortgage crises. Before bringing topics like tax policy and mortgage trends to life at The Balance, he edited for the Dallas Business Journal and freelanced for Fortune and the Los Angeles Times. learn about our editorial policies Photo: nensuria/Getty Images After leveling off during much of June, the number of people initiating claims for unemployment insurance resumed a downward march last week, setting a new pandemic-era low in the process. Initial claims for unemployment benefits fell to 364,000 in the week ending June 26, the lowest level since March 14, 2020 and a decline of 51,000 from the previous week, according to seasonally adjusted data released Thursday by the Labor Department. The drop was larger than economists expected, and brings unemployment claims nearer to their pre-pandemic level of around 210,000 per week. “There's been some bumpiness in recent weeks, but the overall downward trend is clear, which is what we want,” wrote AnnElizabeth Konkel, an economist at job search website Indeed, on Twitter. The downward trend began in early March, with the volume of weekly claims plummeting from 765,000 to 444,000 in a matter of weeks. The decline in new claims means businesses are hanging on to the workers they have and fewer people are being laid off—a bright spot for a labor market in need of one. Job growth hasn’t boomed as expected this year despite a record number of openings. Some economists believe a hiring spree is right around the corner. We’ll find out if the boom arrived in June on Friday, when the government releases its monthly jobs report. Have a question, comment, or story to share? You can reach Rob at email@example.com. Was this page helpful? Thanks for your feedback! Tell us why! Other Submit Sources The Balance uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy. U.S. Department of Labor. "Unemployment Insurance Weekly Claims."