BACK ON TRACK: Jobless Claims Hit Another Pandemic-Era Low

For the fifth week in a row, weekly jobless claims hit a record low for the pandemic, as more Amercians get vaccinated and are able to return to a normal life.

With businesses reopening, people returning to work, and millions of Americans now fully vaccinated, there are more signs the recovery is well on its way.

Associated Press: “The number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits fell last week to 473,000, a new pandemic low and the latest evidence that fewer employers are cutting jobs as consumers ramp up spending and more businesses reopen.”

Associated Press: “With hiring up, vaccinations increasing and the economy accelerating, consumers have grown more confident and, on average, are flush with cash after limiting their spending during the pandemic. Stimulus checks have also bolstered many bank accounts. Now, more Americans are venturing out to shop, travel, dine out and congregate at entertainment venues.”

New York Times: “After more than a year of being whipsawed by the pandemic, the economy has been showing new life. Restrictions are lifting, businesses are reopening and job listings are on the upswing.”

As more Americans return to the workforce, they’re finding jobs with increased wages as companies compete for them.

New York Times:“Competing with fast-food chains, restaurants and other businesses for workers, McDonald’s said on Thursday that it, too, will raise wages at some restaurants in an effort to attract employees. The company said it would increase hourly wages for current employees by an average of 10 percent and that the entry-level wage for new employees would rise to $11 to $17 an hour, based on the location of the restaurant.”

MarketWatch: “Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. announced a wide range of compensation incentives on Monday, including a pathway to a six-figure salary, as it seeks to hire 20,000 workers in the U.S. Chipotle is bumping pay for new and existing hourly and salaried workers, which will drive wages for hourly crew members up to $11 to $18 per hour. The average hourly wage will be $15 per hour by the end of June, the company said. Chipotle is also promising a career path for interested workers, which will lead them to the “restauranteur” title, the highest general manager position, and an average pay of $100,000 in 3.5 years.”