U.S. Jobless Claims Drop More Than Expected To Six-Month Low

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First-time claims for U.S. unemployment benefits declined by more than expected in the week ended September 26th, according to a report released by the Labor Department on Thursday.

The report said initial jobless claims fell to 837,000, a decrease of 36,000 from the previous week’s revised level of 873,000.

Economists had expected jobless claims to dip to 850,000 from the 870,000 originally reported for the previous week.

With the bigger than expected decrease, jobless claims slid to their lowest level since before the coronavirus-induced lockdowns in March.

The Labor Department said the less volatile four-week moving average also slipped to 867,250, a decrease of 11,750 from the previous week’s revised average of 879,000.

Continuing claims, a reading on the number of people receiving ongoing unemployment assistance, plunged by 980,000 to 11.767 million in the week ended September 19th.

The four-week moving average of continuing claims also tumbled to 12,701,250, a decrease of 381,250 from the previous week’s revised average of 13,082,500.

On Friday, the Labor Department is scheduled to release its more closely watched monthly employment report for September.

Economists expect employment to increase by about 850,000 jobs in September after jumping by 1.371 million jobs in August. The unemployment rate is expected to edge down to 8.2 percent from 8.4 percent.

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