March 24 (UPI) — The number of people filing for unemployment insurance for the first time fell 28,000 last week to 187,000, its lowest total since late 1969, the Labor Department reported Thursday, marking the latest evidence of a rebounding economy.
The first-time unemployment filing total was the lowest one-week total of the year and its first time under 200,000 since mid-December.
The new total has fallen from the record high of 6.149 million who filed for unemployment benefits during the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States in early April 2020.
The Labor Department said the total of those applying for jobless benefits for the week ending March 12 was revised up 1,000 to 215,000. The four-week moving average was 211,750, which decreased 11,500 from the previous week.
The overall number of people filing for unemployment insurance for the week ending March 12, was 1.35 million, a drop of 67,000 from the previous week’s revised total. That marked the fewest people filing overall for jobless benefits since Jan. 3, 1970, when 1.332 million filed.
The four-week moving average of the total for everyone filing unemployment benefits was 1,431,500, decreasing 31,000 from the previous week. The average was the lowest total the Labor Department recorded since Feb. 28, 1970, when 1,421,000 filed for jobless benefits nationwide.
“Americans are getting back to work at a historic pace, with fewer Americans on unemployment insurance today than at any time in the last half century,” President Joe Biden said in a statement Thursday.
“This historic progress is no accident: it’s the result of an economic strategy to grow the economy from the bottom up and middle out, starting with the American Rescue Plan.”
Biden added that the jobless report is another signal that the U.S. economy is in a good position to deal with rising inflation, which has been running at the highest rates in 40 years.
“We will continue the fight to lower costs with every tool at our disposal, from making more here in America and rebuilding our supply chains, to lowering costs that have held back Americans for decades, to promoting competition to ensure markets can operate effectively and consumers are protected,” he added.