Xavier Rivera 9.jpg

Xavier Rivera, a 15-year-old McCaskey junior-to-be, puts french fries in containers at McDonald's on Franklin Street in Lancaster city on Tuesday, May 26, 2020.

The rate of job losses and the number of people who remain out of work in Lancaster County continues to improve seven months after the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic.

Last week 257 Lancaster County residents filed initial claims for unemployment benefits, a number that dropped 3% from the previous week, according to weekly figures from the Lancaster County Workforce Development Board.

The board’s latest statistics also indicate that more people have been heading back to work.

Some 13,523 Lancaster County residents filed continuing claims for unemployment for the week ending Oct. 10, which was the most recent data available from the board. Such claims dropped 13% from the previous week and have nearly halved since mid-July.

Naomi Young, director of the Center for Regional Analysis of the Economic Development Company of Lancaster County, noted the county’s total unemployment claims numbers have been improving faster than the state’s, with their current level putting the local unemployment rate around 5%.

“At this level, we expect a good share of the local economy to recover the jobs lost during the pandemic, with elevated unemployment concentrated in our hardest hit sectors: entertainment and hospitality,” Young said.

Statewide, initial jobless filings last week dropped 5% percent to 19,233, having fallen 16% over the last month.

Nationally, new jobless claims fell 55,000 last week to 787,000, the Labor Department said Thursday. Claims for the previous two weeks were revised lower because of new data from California, which had temporarily stopped processing new claims. The revised number of claims for the week ending Oct. 3 were 767,000, the lowest since the beginning of the pandemic in mid-March.

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