The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits continued to trend down last week according to data from the Labor Department.
The latest result showed a modest decline to 751,000 unemployment claims from the 758,000 Americans who filed for benefits the week prior. The 4-week moving average fell to 787,000, marking a 4,000 drop from the previous week’s average.
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This is the third straight week that unemployment claims were seen below 800,000, signaling that jobs — although still significantly lower than pre-pandemic levels — are starting to slowly recover.
Despite the decline in jobless claims, however, the level still remains historically high as the coronavirus earlier forced businesses nationwide to shutter operations due to stay-at-home orders implemented.
Continuing claims also declines
Meanwhile, continuing claims also decreased last week to 7.3 million — dropping by 538,000 compared to the prior week’s count.
“Part of the reason was the continued migration from those losing benefits into the Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Assistance program, which saw its rolls increase by 277,564 to 3.96 million,” the Labor Department said.
The biggest weekly unemployment claims surges were filed in Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Ohio and Pennsylvania.
Before the coronavirus wrecked havoc across the country, the highest level of continuing claims recorded stood at 6.6 million seen in June 2009.
The jobless claims report comes a day before the release of the government’s unemployment rate that will be reported on Friday. Economists expect to show a gain of 530,000 last month.
Source: The Scoop