Unemployment claims have dropped to their lowest levels since Coronavirus caused the economic shutdown in March. While claims for unemployment benefits still remain high, the number has dropped below 800,000 a noticeable improvement, and a sign the economy is slowing but surely healing.
The latest jobless claims figures from the Labor Department, which cover the week ending Oct. 17, show that 787,000 workers sought aid last week, about four-times the pre-crisis level. Close to 65 million Americans ‒ roughly 40% of the nation’s labor force ‒ have sought jobless aid since the coronavirus lockdowns began in mid-March.
The number of people who are continuing to receive unemployment benefits fell to 8.37 million, a decline of about 1 million from the previous week. The decline suggests that employers are calling their workers back.
“The numbers are noisy, but weekly unemployment claims came in below 800,000, which is still good news for Americans who have seen those claims settle in at levels about four times what we saw just one year ago,” Robert Frick, corporate economist at Navy Federal Credit Union, said.
The latest report comes amid as White House officials and Democratic leaders try to overcome a monthslong impasse and strike a coronavirus relief deal ahead of the November election.
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