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The US Department of Labor yesterday said that "worker filings for initial jobless claims have dropped by 35% since late April, slipping below 400,000 last week for the first time since the pandemic started," the Wall Street Journal writes.

"Weekly unemployment claims, a proxy for layoffs, fell to 385,000 last week from a revised 405,000 the prior week, the Labor Department said on Thursday. Last week’s decline in claims marked the fifth straight week that new filings fell, from 590,000 in late April, adding to signs of a healing labor market as the U.S. economy ramps up."

And, this morning, the government reported that "employers added 559,000 jobs in May and the unemployment rate fell to 5.8%, in a pickup of the labor market’s recovery from Covid-19," the Journal reports.

"Several factors are propelling a burst of economic activity. More Americans have become vaccinated against the coronavirus, and state and local governments have eased restrictions on businesses as Covid-19 cases have declined and as the federal government has relaxed its pandemic guidance. Those factors, along with federal pandemic aid, have prompted a pickup in spending, particularly at services businesses, which in turn is stoking labor demand.

"Employment in April was still down by about eight million jobs compared with pre-pandemic levels, and nearly 10 million people were unemployed and potentially available to work.

"Economists predict that the labor market won’t fully recover until next year despite signs of robust demand for workers. The Federal Reserve, other policy makers and financial markets are closely watching the pace of hiring as a key indicator of strength in the overall recovery.

"Strong growth in U.S. job openings is a sign that employers are seeking to boost hiring, although they face challenges in filling positions."