Jobless claims fall to new post-pandemic low

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October 21, 2021

US initial jobless claims fell to a 19-month low last week and hit their lowest level since the start of the pandemic, the US Department of Labor reported today. Initial claims fell by 6,000 in the week ended Oct. 16 to a level of 290,000, according to the seasonally adjusted data. This is the lowest level for initial claims since March 14, 2020, when it was 256,000.

The previous week’s level was revised upward by 3,000.

Meanwhile, the four-week moving average of initial claims fell by 15,250 last week to a total of 319,750; the previous week’s average was revised up by 750. This is also the lowest level for this average since March 14, 2020, when it was 225,500.

Forbes reported that economists were expecting about 300,000 new claims last week, according to Bloomberg data. “All this signals that most employers don’t need or want to shed workers — it is quite the contrary with job openings remarkably high,” Bankrate Senior Economic Analyst Mark Hamrick wrote in a Thursday morning note before cautioning: “The headwinds of supply chain congestion and high inflation threaten to make further significant job market improvement hard to come by.”

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