A report released by the Labor Department on Thursday showed a bigger than expected decrease in first-time claims for U.S. unemployment benefits in the week ended November 7th.
The Labor Department said initial jobless claims fell to 709,000, a decrease of 48,000 from the previous week’s revised level of 757,000.
Economists had expected jobless claims to dip to 735,000 from the 751,000 originally reported for the previous week.
With the bigger than expected decrease, jobless claims fell to their lowest level since before lockdowns were imposed in mid-March.
The report said the less volatile four-week moving average also slid to 755,250, a decrease of 33,250 from the previous week’s revised average of 788,500.
Continuing claims, a reading on the number of people receiving ongoing unemployment assistance, also tumbled by 436,000 to 6.786 million in the week ended October 31st.
The four-week moving average of continuing claims slumped to 7,575,750, a decrease of 653,000 from the previous week’s revised average of 8,228,750.
“Continuing claims for regular benefits extended their decline, but that positive trend continues to be partly offset by the rise in the number of unemployed individuals who have exhausted those benefits,” said Nancy Vanden Houten, Lead U.S. Economist at Oxford Economics.
Last Friday, the Labor Department released a separate report showing employment in the U.S. increased by more than expected in the month of October.
The report said non-farm payroll employment jumped by 638,000 jobs in October after surging up by a revised 672,000 jobs in September.
Economists had expected employment to increase by 600,000 jobs compared to the addition of 661,000 jobs originally reported for the previous month.
The Labor Department also said the unemployment rate dropped to 6.9 percent in October from 7.9 percent in September. The unemployment rate was expected to slip to 7.7 percent.
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