WASHINGTON, April 8 (Xinhua) -- Initial jobless claims in the United States rose to 744,000 last week, marking an increase for a second straight week, the Labor Department reported on Thursday.
In the week ending April 3, the number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits increased by 16,000 from the previous week's upwardly revised level of 728,000, according to a report released by the department's Bureau of Labor Statistics.
This follows a drop to revised level of 658,000 in the week ending March 27, the lowest level since the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the bureau.
The latest report also showed that the number of people continuing to collect regular state unemployment benefits in the week ending March 27 decreased by 16,000 to reach 3.7 million.
Meanwhile, the total number of people claiming benefits in all programs -- state and federal combined -- for the week ending March 20 decreased by 50,862 but remained elevated at 18 million, as the country continues to grapple with the fallout of the pandemic.
Last spring, as COVID-19 shutdowns rippled through the workforce, initial jobless claims spiked by 3 million to reach a record 3.3 million in the week ending March 21, 2020, and then doubled to reach a record 6.87 million in the week ending March 28.
After that, the number, though at record highs, has been declining overall, but the trend was reversed multiple times since mid-July amid COVID-19 resurgence.
The Labor Department reported last week that U.S. employers added 916,000 jobs in March, with the unemployment rate edging down to 6.0 percent.
According to the recently released Peterson Institute for International Economics' semiannual Global Economic Prospects, U.S. unemployment will decline to 5.0 percent by yearend and 4.4 percent by the end of 2022. Enditem