The U.S. economy received some encouraging news Thursday after the Department of Labor reported that jobless claims fell 385,000, which is down 20,000 from the week earlier. It marked the fifth-straight week that the number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits has dropped, a positive sign as the country reopens.

The declining number of applications being sent to unemployment directly correlates with rising vaccinations and the government's easing up on restrictions with businesses. As more places are opening up, there is a need for employees.

Worker filings for initial jobless claims have dropped by 35% since late April, the Wall Street Journal noted.

“Claims remain elevated by normal standards, but the downward trend has been relentless in recent months, and a return to the pre-Covid level over the summer seems a decent bet,” Ian Shepherdson, chief economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics, told the Journal.

The Labor Department on Friday will release the monthly job report for May.

According to a survey of economists by data firm FactSet, “Employers have added 1.8 million jobs this year — an average of more than 450,000 a month — and the government’s May jobs report on Friday is expected to show that they added an additional 656,000 last month.”