WASHINGTON — The number of people seeking unemployment benefits fell last week for a fourth straight time to a pandemic low, the latest sign that America's job market is rebounding from the pandemic recession as employers boost hiring to meet a surge in consumer demand.
The Labor Department reported that jobless claims fell by 29,000 to 348,000.
The weekly pace of applications for unemployment aid has fallen more or less steadily since topping 900,000 in early January.
The dwindling number of first-time jobless claims has coincided with the widespread administering of vaccines, which has led businesses to reopen or expand their hours and drawn consumers back to shops, restaurants and entertainment venues.
Earlier this month, the government reported that the U.S. created 943,000 jobs in July, exceeding economists' forecasts. While job growth is strong in 2020, there's still a shortfall of about 7 million jobs from pre-pandemic levels in February 2020.