According to CNBC, initial unemployment insurance claims totaled 837,000 last week; the Labor Department said on Thursday as the labor market continues to slowly recover from the coronavirus pandemic.
Economists polled by Dow Jones expected 850,000. According to seasonally adjusted figures, the weekly total was down 36,000 from the 870,000, revised the week before.
It was the fifth week in a row that claims were below 1 million after staying there five months after the economic shutdown linked to COVID-19 in mid-March.
The steady decline in continuous applications in recent months likely reflects that some of those who lost their jobs amid the initial CCP virus shutdowns are being rehired as the country reopens.
The White House and Congress are continuing negotiations for another round of stimulus measures that would likely include more help for workers who remain displaced due to closures caused by coronaviruses.
Workers received $600 on top of their normal benefits before the CARES Act expired, and then $300 afterward due to an executive order from President Donald Trump.
Basic personal consumption spending, which the Federal Reserve uses as a proxy for inflation, rose 1.6% year-over-year in August, below the central bank’s 2% target.
Those receiving benefits under the Unemployment Pandemic Assistance Program edged up to 650,120 people. The program provides payments to those who do not normally qualify for benefits, such as freelancers and independent contractors.
More than two-thirds of individual states reported declines last week, according to unadjusted data. The largest declines came from Florida, with 9,668, and Texas, with 8,353.
The number of claims comes a day ahead of the closely watched non-farm payroll report. The Department of Labor is expected to report 800,000 jobs gain for September, according to Dow Jones.
The unemployment rate is expected to fall down two-tenths of a percentage point to 8.2%.