Jobless Claims Extend Drop Toward Levels Seen Before Covid-19
Worker filings for unemployment benefits continued their steady downward march as they approached levels last seen before the coronavirus pandemic.
Worker filings for initial unemployment benefits, a proxy for layoffs, fell to 269,000, the Labor Department said Thursday. The figure for the previous week was revised to 283,000 from 281,000.
Jobless AidFilings for unemployment benefits since thestart of 2021Initial jobless claims, weeklySource: U.S. Employment and TrainingAdministration via St. Louis FedNote: Seasonally adjusted.
The four-week average for weekly claims fell to 284,750 last week, holding well below a recent peak of 424,000 in mid-July. They remained above 2019’s weekly average of 218,000. Claims declined through much of the summer despite a surge in Covid-19 cases caused by the Delta variant and related economic disruptions.
“We expect jobless claims to continue to decline as the labor market continues to improve,” said Daniel Zhao, an economist at Glassdoor. “It’s a reacceleration of the economy after Delta.”
Economists estimate that the Labor Department will report Friday that U.S. employers added 450,000 jobs in October, or more than double the payroll gains seen in September.