By CHRISTOPHER RUGABER
AP Economics Writer
WASHINGTON (AP) — The number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits fell sharply last week to 310,000, a pandemic low and a sign that the surge in COVID-19 cases caused by the delta variant has yet to lead to widespread layoffs. Thursday’s report from the Labor Department showed that jobless claims dropped from a revised total of 345,000 the week before. The number of applications has fallen steadily since topping 900,000 in early January, reflecting the steady reopening of the economy after the pandemic recession.