Weekly Jobless Claims Total 881,000, Better Than Expected as Labor Market Continues to Heal


  • New filings for jobless claims totaled 881,000 last week, better than the 950,000 Dow Jones estimate.
  • The number reflects an improving labor market as well as a change in the methodology used by the Labor Department.
  • Continuing claims fell to 13.3 million, a drop of more than 1.2 million from the previous week.

New filings for jobless claims amounted to 881,000 last week, better than price quotes as the work market continued its progressive progress throughout the coronavirus pandemic recovery.

Economists surveyed by Dow Jones had been searching for a total of 950,000.

The number reflects an improving labor market as well as a modification in methodology from the Labor Department to deal with seasonal aspects. Special circumstances connected with the coronavirus likely caused jobless claims totals to be overemphasized during the pandemic.

While the number represented a drop from previous weeks, those totals were not revised, making comparisons hard.

However, the department did note that claims for the week ended Aug. 29 did represent a decrease from the previous week’s 1.011 million. Using the old approach, the total would have been 1.02 million, according to Ian Shepherdson, a primary economic expert at Pantheon Macroeconomics.

Continuing claims fell dramatically, dropping by 1.24 million to 13.254 million. The insured unemployment rate, a standard computation of those getting advantages against the overall workforce, fell by 0.8 portions indicate 9.1%.

The Labor Department altered its approach from one that utilized seasonal modifications to represent normal disruptions in the job market that do not use as much under the virus-related conditions.

The unadjusted total, which has regularly run below the adjusted numbers throughout the pandemic, was 833,352 recently, up almost 8,000 from the previous week.

Claims under the Pandemic Unemployment Help program increased greatly recently to 759,482, a boost of 151,674, according to unadjusted figures. The program has supplied benefits throughout the pandemic to those who typically would not be qualified for unemployment insurance coverage.

“In short, the pace of layoffs remains really high, and it appears that the percentage of freshly laid-off individuals quickly discovering another job is falling,” Shepherdson stated.

At the state level, Florida saw the greatest decline for the week at 12,312, while California revealed the most significant gain, at 39,958.

The total for employees receiving advantages, a number that is a week behind the current information, increased to 29.22 million for the week ended Aug. 15, up about 2.2 million from the week in the past.

The claims number comes a day ahead of the government’s closely watched nonfarm payrolls report for August. Economic experts anticipate 1.32 million more tasks to have been produced and the joblessness rate to fall from 10.2% to 9.8%.

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