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National Public Radio's Marketplace reported yesterday on improving US Department of Labor statistics, as "444,000 people filed first-time unemployment claims last week, the lowest number since mid-March last year. The number of people claiming benefits through state and pandemic-related programs also fell to a pandemic low (16 million, down from 16.9 million a week earlier)."

However, Marketplace says, "there’s a really significant number within that number: 4.2 million, the number of people who are long-term unemployed, meaning unemployed for 27 weeks or more.

"Long-term unemployment, as well as a scourge to those trapped in it, has negative economic implications," with one expert saying that the size of long-term unemployment numbers can be an indicator of how long it will take for a full recovery.

Marketplace notes that a number of "states are pressing ahead with plans to stop the payment of federal unemployment benefits in June or July to gig workers or the self-employed and anyone who’s on extended unemployment.