FILE - In this May 7, 2020, file photo, a person looks inside the closed doors of the Pasadena Community Job Center in Pasadena, Calif., during the coronavirus outbreak. While most Americans have weathered the pandemic financially, about 38 million say they are worse off now than before the outbreak began in the U.S. According to a new poll from Impact Genome and The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research 55% of Americans say their financial circumstances are about the same now as a year ago, and 30% say their finances have improved. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes, File)
(AP) — The number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits fell sharply last week to 576,000, a hopeful sign that layoffs are easing as the economy recovers from the pandemic recession.
The Labor Department said Thursday that applications plummeted 193,000 from a revised 769,000 a week earlier. Jobless claims are now down sharply from a peak of 900,000 in early January.