U.S. Weekly Jobless Claims Edge Down To 840,000

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A report released by the Labor Department on Thursday showed a modest decrease in first-time claims for U.S. unemployment benefits in the week ended October 3rd.

The Labor Department said initial jobless claims edged down to 840,000, a decrease of 9,000 from the previous week’s revised level of 849,000.

Economists had expected jobless claims to dip to 820,000 from the 837,000 originally reported for the previous week.

The report said the less volatile four-week moving average also fell to 857,000, a decrease of 13,250 from the previous week’s revised average of 870,250.

Continuing claims, a reading on the number of people receiving ongoing unemployment assistance, also tumbled by 1.003 million to 10.976 million in the week ended September 26th.

The four-week moving average of continuing claims slumped to 12,112,250, a decrease of 642,000 from the previous week’s revised average of 12,754,250.

“Failure to pass additional fiscal relief measures will lead to more new claims given the announcement of layoffs by many firms,” said Nancy Vanden Houten, Lead U.S. Economist at Oxford Economics. “It also raises the risk that some individuals will lose benefits altogether at the start of 2021.”

Last Friday, the Labor Department released a separate report showing job growth in the U.S. slowed by much more than expected in the month of September.

The Labor Department said non-farm payroll employment rose by 661,000 jobs in September after spiking by an upwardly revised 1.489 million jobs in August.

Economists had expected employment to increase by 850,000 jobs compared to the jump of 1.371 million jobs originally reported for the previous month.

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