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The Associated Press reports that "the number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits fell to a fresh pandemic low last week, another sign the job market is healing after last year’s coronavirus recession.

"Jobless claims dropped by 14,000 to 269,000 last week. Since topping 900,000 in early January, the weekly applications have fallen more or less steadily ever since and are gradually moving toward pre-pandemic levels of around 220,000 a week.

"Overall, 2.1 million Americans were collecting unemployment checks the week of Oct. 23 — down from 7.1 million a year earlier when the economy was still reeling from the coronavirus outbreak."

In addition, the Wall Street Journal this morning reports that "the U.S. added 531,000 jobs in October, the Labor Department said Friday, and the unemployment rate fell to 4.6%, as the labor market rebounded from a summer lull.

"Job growth slowed in August and September as the Delta variant of Covid-19 raged and many workers—because of financial, health or other reasons—gave up the job search.

Employers desperate to hire to meet strong demand from consumers are rapidly raising wages, dangling bonuses and offering more flexible hours. And households are spending down a big pile of savings that had been boosted by federal stimulus money and extra unemployment benefits.

"All factors might be leading adults who hit pause on work life to resume the job search, economists say."