First-time claims for U.S. unemployment benefits fell to their lowest level since before the coronavirus-induced lockdowns in the week ended October 24th, according to a report released by the Labor Department on Thursday.
The report said initial jobless claims dropped to 751,000, a decrease of 40,000 from the previous week’s revised level of 791,000.
Economists had expected jobless claims to dip to 775,000 from the 787,000 originally reported for the previous week.
With the bigger than expected decrease, jobless claims fell to their lowest level since hitting 282,000 in the week ended March 14th.
The Labor Department said the less volatile four-week moving average also slid to 787,750, a decrease of 24,500 from the previous week’s revised average of 812,250. The four-week moving average also hit its lowest level since March.
Continuing claims, a reading on the number of people receiving ongoing unemployment assistance, also tumbled by 709,000 to 7.756 million in the week ended October 17th.
The four-week moving average of continuing claims plunged to 9,053,250, a decrease of 1,055,750 from the previous week’s revised average of 10,109,000.
Next Friday, the Labor Department is scheduled to release its more closely watched report on the employment situation in the month of October.
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