Unemployment Dropped Dramatically in February; Productivity Continues to RiseInitial unemployment claims totaled 215,000 in the final week of February. Overall unemployment claims have declined by 90% in the last year.

By Main Street Sentinel Staff

Unemployment has dropped dramatically and productivity is way up, according to the most recent reports. The numbers are yet another indicator that the booming American economy is benefiting workers and consumers.

According to the Labor Department, initial claims for unemployment insurance totaled 215,000 in the last week of February – an 18,000 decrease from the previous week and the lowest level since January 1, 2022. And the overall number of people receiving unemployment benefits fell to 1.97 million, representing a decline of around 90 percent from a year ago.

The unemployment figures track with the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ latest jobs report, which showed that 678,000 jobs were created in February; the strong number surprised economic forecasters, who had predicted that the month’s job growth would come in at roughly 400,000. The US economy added a historic 6.6 million jobs over the course of 2021.

Meanwhile, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that labor productivity – a measure that is closely associated with the affordability and availability of goods and services – rose 6.6 percent in the fourth quarter of 2021. Retail sales were up 3.8 percent in January, suggesting that consumers remained optimistic about the economy.