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With Jobless Claims Declining, We Check In On CA’s Labor Market




Construction workers work on the new Frederick Douglass Memorial Bridge on May 19, 2021 in Washington, DC.
Construction workers work on the new Frederick Douglass Memorial Bridge on May 19, 2021 in Washington, DC.
Drew Angerer/Getty Images

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The number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits fell last week for a fifth straight week to a new pandemic low, the latest evidence that the U.S. job market is regaining its health as the economy further reopens.

The Labor Department reported Thursday that jobless claims dropped to 385,000, down 20,000 from the week before. The number of weekly applications for unemployment aid, which generally reflects the pace of layoffs, has fallen steadily all year, though it remains high by historical standards.

The decline in applications reflects a swift rebound in economic growth and the job market’s steady recovery from the coronavirus recession. More Americans are venturing out to shop, travel, dine out and congregate at entertainment venues. All that renewed spending has led companies to seek new workers.

We check in on the labor market, both nationally and in California. 

With files from the Associated Press. 

Guest:

William Lee, chief economist at the Milken Institute, an economic think tank based in Santa Monica;  he specializes in Asia, trade, the global economy, job creation and more

Chris Tilly, economist and a professor of urban planning at UCLA