The initial weekly jobless claim decreased for the first time since the Pandemic began with below 300,000 jobless claims, according to data released Thursday by the Department of Labor.
Initial applications for unemployment benefits totaled 293,000, the lowest level since April 14, 2020. The continuing claims, which indicate the number of people collecting ongoing benefits, dropped to 2.59 million, another low.
The latest number roundly beat out economist's forecasts of 318,000, and is an indication that companies are holding on to their workers amid a tight labor market.
A big decline in unemployment claims for the most recent week has finally broken the 300,000 barrier and is the strongest evidence yet that the Covid - 19 Delta wave lost its influence on layoffs, said Robert Frick, corporate economist at Navy Federal Credit Union. Hopefully, we can start dropping to the pre-covid average of about 200,000. The Friday figure contrasts with the latest monthly employment report which has shown the slowest job growth so far this year, with just 194,000 new jobs added during the month of September. That came amid hopes that the extension of unemployment benefits, schools reopening and ongoing vaccinations would boost hiring.
With so many jobs available and opportunities to work remotely at least some of the time, the good news is that workers stand a reasonable chance of improving their employment situation, including better pay and working conditions. Clearly, that s what many want, said Mark Hamrick, senior economic analyst at Bankrate.