The number of Americans filing first-time jobless claims has hit a pandemic low, though millions are still working to get back to work. In the week that ended March 1, 498,000 first-time jobless claims were made, data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics show. That’s below the 527,000 claims the Dow Jones estimated for the same week and down from the prior week’s 590,000 claims, according to NBC News.
Though new jobless claims are lowering, this latest data still marks the 59th straight week of heightened jobless claims amid the coronavirus pandemic.
For Black and Latino workers, and Black women in particular, the economic toll of the pandemic has been fiercely disproportionate. Earlier reports showed that Black women and other women of color were unemployed at higher rates than other groups at the start of the pandemic last year. The rate of Black women and other women of color getting back to work was also sluggish compared to others, one study found.
Economists are reportedly estimating that another one million jobs were added to the economy over the last month. According to NBC News, hiring in the hospitality sector will probably happen the quickest since that industry was hit hard at the beginning of the pandemic.
The pandemic-related child care crisis has especially hit single-parent households of working mothers, many of whom left the workforce to supervise children learning from home. The nationwide push for vaccinations continues as leaders work to have schools safely reopen for the fall and the CDC issues guidelines for summer activities for children, in efforts to return to some form of pre-pandemic life and parents look to get back to work.
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