┬áThe number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits fell for the sixth straight week as the U.S. economy, held back for months by the coronavirus pandemic, reopens rapidly. Jobless claims fell by 9,000 to 376,000 from 385,000 the week before, the Labor Department reported Thursday. The number of people signing up for benefits exceeded 900,000 in early January and has fallen more or less steadily ever since. Still, claims are high by historic standards. Before the pandemic brought economic activity to a near-standstill in March 2020, weekly applications were regularly coming in below 220,000. Initial unemployment claims Seasonally adjusted figures Jan. 1, 2010 Jan. 1, 2015 Jan. 1, 2020 01,000,0002,000,0003,000,0004,000,0005,000,0006,000,0007,000,000 claims_sa Week ending Oct. 31: 751 thousand High: 6.9 million 3/28 Recession Recession High: March 28, 2020 6.9 million Financial assistance claims shown are to regular state programs. Source: U.S. Department of Labor Nearly 3.5 million […]