Weekly jobless claims have dropped to their lowest levels since the early days of the coronavirus pandemic in March, which could bolster President Donald Trump’s re-election efforts.
“New filings for jobless claims in the U.S. totaled 787,000 last week, the lowest total since the early days of the coronavirus pandemic,” CNBC reported. “The total reflected a decline of 55,000 from the downwardly revised 842,000 from the previous week. The last time the weekly claims total was lower was the 282,000 on March 14, just before an avalanche of layoffs that occurred in conjunction with efforts to combat the virus.”
The report noted that some economists had expected the number to be approximately 90,000 higher. The report added that one reason for the drop was that some workers had moved onto the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance emergency compensation program after they exhausted their regular benefits.
“In addition to the substantial drop in the headline number, continuing claims also showed another hefty drop,” CNBC added. “The level of those getting benefit for at least two weeks dripped by 1.02 million to 8.37 million.”
Ian Shepherdson, chief economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics, told CNBC in a statement:
We’re happy to see continuing claims fall, but the decline — even allowing for the PEUC/extended benefits effect — does not map one-to-one onto rising payrolls. Some people no longer claiming benefits may have dropped out of the labor force, while some might have taken non-payroll gig or freelance jobs. Moreover, continuing claims lag initial claims, so if initial claims start rising again, continuing claims will follow.
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