politico – Unemployment claims in US rise to 419,000 after pandemic low

WASHINGTON – The number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits rose last week from the lowest point in the pandemic, even as the job market appears to rebound on the strength of a reopened economy.

The Labor Department said Thursday that jobless claims rose last week to 419,000 from 368,000 the week before. The weekly number of first claims, which usually follows layoffs, has declined steadily since it exceeded 900,000 in early January.

Americans are shopping, traveling and eating more as the pandemic wears off, boosting the economy and forcing businesses to seek more workers. Firms posted the most jobs available in the two decades the data was tracked. Hires have increased, though companies say they often can’t find enough employees at the wages they’re willing to pay.

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