May 20 (UPI) -- More than 440,000 workers in the United States have filed new unemployment claims, the Labor Department said Thursday in its weekly report.
The department said 444,000 workers filed initial jobless claims last week, a decrease of 34,000 from the previous week. Thursday's report also revised up the prior week's claims by 5,000.
The department said the new figure is the lowest single-week total for new claims since March 14, 2020, when 256,000 were filed.
Most analysts expected about 450,000 new claims.
There were about 3.8 million continuing claims, which lag initial claims by a week, Thursday's report said.
The rate of new filings has steadily decreased since the middle of last year, when economic hardship related to the COVID-19 pandemic put tens of millions of U.S. workers out of a job.
Government aid and stimulus efforts and widespread coronavirus vaccinations have contributed to the rebound.