Aug. 5 (UPI) -- For the first time since early in the COVID-19 pandemic, the number of workers in the United States filing for ongoing unemployment benefits has fallen below 3 million, the Labor Department said in its weekly report Thursday.
The department said there were 385,000 new jobless claims last week, which was right in line with most economists' expectations. The figure is a decline of 14,000 claims from the previous week.
The report, however, also noted 2.93 continuing claims, which lag initial claims by a week. The last time continuing claims totaled under 3 million was March 2020.
Wednesday's report marked the second straight week of declines.
According to the department, California saw the most new claims last week (8,000), followed by Tennessee, Michigan and New Jersey.
Pennsylvania saw the largest decrease (21,200), followed by Texas, Kentucky, Illinois and Missouri.
The report came after ADP and Moody's reported Wednesday that the private sector added 300,000 jobs during the month of July.
The Labor Department will release its official July jobs report on Friday.