The number of new applications for unemployment benefit in the United States last week reached its lowest level since the onset of the coronavirus crisis. In total, 684,000 applications were received in all states, reports the US Department of employment. A lower level was last measured on 20 March 2020.
The decline was stronger than expected, as economists expected an average of 730,000 new applications. Despite the favorable figures, applications are still significantly higher than before the coronavirus crisis. At that time the weekly number was under 300,000.
It was also announced that the US economy grew faster in the last quarter of last year than previously assumed. A third estimate by the US Department of Economic Affairs showed a growth of 4.3 per cent compared to the previous three months, whereas it was previously 0.2 percentage points lower.
The United States uses so-called annualized figures. In doing so, the quarterly growth rates are calculated as if they were a whole projected year’s growth, so that the growth rates are often higher than what are used to in Europe.