Releasing its weekly report on first-time claims for U.S. unemployment benefits a day earlier than usual due to the Veterans Day holiday, the Labor Department revealed Wednesday that initial jobless claims saw another modest decrease in the week ended November 6th.
The report said initial jobless claims edged down to 267,000, a decrease of 4,000 from the previous week’s revised level of 271,000.
Economists had expected jobless claims to dip to 265,000 from the 269,000 originally reported for the previous week.
Jobless claims decreased for the sixth consecutive week, once again falling to their lowest level since hitting 256,000 in the week ended March 14, 2020.
The Labor Department said the less volatile four-week moving average also fell to a pandemic-era low of 278,000, a decrease of 7,250 from the previous week’s revised average of 285,250.
Meanwhile, the report said continuing claims, a reading on the number of people receiving ongoing unemployment assistance, rose by 59,000 to 2.160 million in the week ended October 30th.
The four-week moving average of continuing claims still slid to 2,245,000, a decrease of 110,750 from the previous week’s revised average of 2,355,750, hitting its lowest level since March 21, 2020.
“Initial claims should continue to fall back toward pre-pandemic levels as employers facing shortages of workers will likely keep layoffs to a minimum,” said Nancy Vanden Houten, Lead Economist at Oxford Economics.
She added, “Continued claims should continue to fall as more individuals return to the labor market and as benefits expire.”
Last Friday, the Labor Department released a separate report showing U.S. employment increased by more than expected in the month of October.
The report said non-farm payroll employment surged up by 531,000 jobs in October after climbing by an upwardly revised 312,000 jobs in September.
Economists had expected employment to jump by 425,000 jobs compared to the addition of 194,000 jobs originally reported for the previous month.
With employment increasing by more than expected, the unemployment rate fell to 4.6 percent in October from 4.8 percent in September, hitting its lowest level since March of 2020. The unemployment rate was expected to edge down to 4.7 percent.
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