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Expand chart
Data: Department of Labor; Chart: Danielle Alberti/Axios

The pandemic-wracked job market has continued to steadily heal since President Biden took office, helped along by mass vaccinations that have rekindled an economic reopening.

The latest sign: New unemployment filings — one proxy for layoffs — have hit pandemic-era lows in recent weeks. The data is volatile, but the milestone is noteworthy.

  • Unemployment applications have dropped since peaking last April, when over 6 million people filed for unemployment during a single week.

Yes, but: Over one year into the pandemic crisis, there are still more people filing for unemployment than during the worst week of the 2009 financial crisis.

  • In addition, 8.4 million fewer people are in the workforce compared to pre-pandemic times, the Labor Department said this month.

Of note: Axios Sneak Peek is counting down to Biden’s 100th day in office on Friday with data-driven analyses of the administration's accomplishments and challenges each day this week.

Go deeper

Ending unemployment benefits early isn't juicing jobs

Expand chart
Data: Axios research; Cartogram: Axios Visuals

More than half of states are embarking on a grand experiment: prematurely ending enhanced unemployment benefits in order to spur people back to work.

What's happening: Despite the uproar over the higher payouts, early evidence suggests canceling them only marginally helped employers find workers — that is, if there was any effect at all.

July forecasts call for job, wage growth

Expand chart
Data: FRED. Chart: Sara Wise/Axios

Economists say job momentum continued in July with 620,000 payroll jobs added. If they're right, it helps chip away at the 6.8 million still needed for a full healing.

  • The unemployment rate could slip to 5.8%, matching a pandemic-era low.
  • Wages are expected to grow 0.2% after gaining 0.3% in June.

The big question is whether it's all enough to entice more sidelined workers back into the job market.

  • The so-called labor force participation rate has barely budged in months.

The SAT is going digital

A practice SAT. Photo: Alex Garcia/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

The College Board announced Tuesday that the SAT will be delivered digitally in the U.S. in 2024.

Why it matters: The College Board said it's seeking to make the SAT "more relevant," as some colleges start to ditch the college admissions exam altogether.