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Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
The number of Americans collecting unemployment benefits slid last week, another sign that the job market continues to recover rapidly from the coronavirus recession.
Jobless claims dropped by 24,000 to 400,000 last week, the U.S. Department of Labor reported Thursday.
The weekly applications have fallen more or less steadily this year — from a peak of 904,000 in early to January.
But they remain high by historic standards: Before COVID-19 struck the United States in March 2020, claims were coming in at about 220,000 a week.
The job market and overall economy have been recovering from the collapse in spring 2020.
The rollout of vaccines this year has encouraged businesses to reopen or expand their hours and sent cooped-up consumers back out to visit restaurants, bars and shops.
Employers posted a record 9.2 million job openings in May, advertising vacancies faster than applicants can fill them.
In Iowa, the Iowa Workforce Development reported decreases in new and continuing claims.
New claims fell from 1,671 to 1,647, and continuing claims fell from 18,751 to 17,686.
Self-employed and independent contractors were the largest source of new claims with 369, followed by manufacturing with 266, construction with 132, and health care and social assistance with 131.
Linn County saw new claims increase from 136 to 143, but Johnson County's new claims dropped from 71 to 62.
The state has 74,215 advertised job openings, including 6,537 in Linn County and 4,674 in Johnson County, according to the IWD.