US weekly jobless claims slide below 300,000 to new pandemic low
Weekly jobless claimsfell to 293,000 last week, marking the lowest reading since March 2020.
- Economists expected claims to drop to 319,000, which would've been just above pandemic-era lows.
The number of people filing for unemployment insurance in the US tumbled last week to the lowest level since the pandemic slammed the US
Jobless claims totaled 293,000 last week, the Labor Department announced Thursday. That came in below the median estimate of 319,000 claims from economists surveyed by Bloomberg. It also marks a second-straight decline and the lowest level since March 2020.
The prior week's total was revised to 329,000 from 326,000.
Continuing claims, which track Americans receiving UI payments, fell to 2.59 million in the week that ended October 2. Economists expected continuing claims to total 2.67 million. The reading also marked a fresh pandemic-era low.
The report shows
Elsewhere in the labor market
The readings suggest the
Still, the unemployment rate dropped to 4.8% and the average hourly wage rose more than expected. The payrolls miss was also influenced by the report's survey period. The report stopped collecting data in the middle of September, the same time that daily case counts peaked in the US. Cases have steadily declined since, and it's likely hiring fared better as the virus situation improved.
In other labor-market news, job openings fell to 10.4 million in August as hiring started to decelerate. That missed the median estimate of 10.9 million and marked a decline from the July reading of 11.1 million openings.
To be sure, 10.4 million is still a massive amount of openings. The US hadn't seen openings rise above 10 million since the pandemic. And openings continue to outpace available workers. There are about 0.8 workers for each listing, suggesting jobless Americans still have plenty of options for finding new work.
Quits rose to another record high of 4.3 million in August. While such high quit rates initially seem like an obstacle for the recovery, the data points to a more promising trend. Elevated quits signal Americans are confident in their ability to find new and better jobs. That shakeup in the labor market can lead to higher pay, stronger productivity, and a better match between people's skills and their work.
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