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Jobless claims in U.S. and ND trending downward

(CNN)
Published: Mar. 25, 2021 at 2:42 PM CDT
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BISMARCK, N.D. (KFYR) - The Labor Department reported jobless claims are down to 684,000, making it the first time since the pandemic that claims are lower than 700,000. Of that number, about 11,800 are North Dakotans.

Experts say this is a good sign the economy is recovering.

American jobs have taken a huge hit since the pandemic began.

Only one week earlier, U.S. jobless claims totaled 781,000. So experts say, to see them drop into the 600,000s means more of us are retaining jobs.

North Dakota unemployment has dropped as well from almost 19,000 people in December. The sharp decline is better than what economists expected.

Dow Jones predicted claims to total 735,000. U.S. gross domestic product was stronger than anticipated in the fourth quarter, showing our economy is on the right track.

“They’re adding employees and either bringing them back or hiring new ones. So, I think that’s a really, really good sign of this economy opening up,” said Securian Financial Services Advisor David Wald.

Wald says our GDP will likely continue to grow as more businesses open up. He says vaccines and relief aid has helped.

Wald says he predicts jobless claims will continue to decline. However, he says the number is fragile and continued decline relies on there being no more COVID outbreaks or closures.

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