Another 323,000 people probably filed new claims last week


New weekly jobless claims rose from a pandemic-era low last week, indicating continued improvements in the labor market recovery.

The Labor Department released its weekly jobless claims report Thursday at 8:30 a.m. ET. Here are the top metrics of impression, compared to consensus estimates compiled by Bloomberg:

  • Initial jobless claims, week ended September 11: 332,000 against 322,000 expected and 312,000 revised during the previous week

  • Continuous requests, week ended September 4: 2.665 million against 2.740 million expected and 2.783 million the previous week

Initial jobless claims had hit their lowest level since March 2020 in early September, as the pace of new joblessness approached pre-pandemic norms. New jobless claims had been arriving at a rate of around 220,000 per month throughout 2019.

The four-week moving average of new weekly claims also fell to its lowest level in 18 months, hitting around 335,750 last week. This measure helps mitigate some of the volatility of the weekly figures and has seen a clear downward trend throughout the year. The continued decline in new applications has also highlighted the fact that labor shortages and hiring difficulties have been the biggest drag on the labor market in recent months, rather than layoffs and layoffs. terminations of employment.

The number of people still unemployed and claiming benefits over a longer period has also declined in line with the decline in the number of new filers. As of Aug. 28, the total number of applicants in state and federal programs was just over 12.1 million, marking an increase of nearly 180,000 from the previous week. However, the overall trend in the total number of applicants is downward, and in the same week last year, the total number of applicants stood at over 30.3 million.

And these recent total applicants amounts understate the real-time drop in total applicants, given that the data is reported back several weeks. As of September 6, federal pandemic unemployment benefits previously authorized by Congress expired in all states.

This included programs such as Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, which offered benefits to workers and entrepreneurs who were not eligible for regular public programs, and Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation, which offered extended benefits to those who had exhausted public insurance. regular. A total of 8.9 million Americans were claiming benefits between these two programs as of mid-August, comprising the clear majority of all claimants at that time.

While some economists and policymakers have suggested that ending improved federal unemployment benefits could catalyze a broader return to work, others have been more skeptical, given lingering concerns about the coronavirus.

“Unfortunately, Delta appears to have left workers uncomfortable returning to the workforce,” Bank of America economist Michelle Meyer wrote in a note on Wednesday. “All eyes are on the wider user interface expiration [unemployment insurance] the benefits will lead to greater participation in the labor market in the weeks to come. “

Emily McCormick is a reporter for Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter: @emily_mcck

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