First-time claims for unemployment insurance last fell below 1 million for the first time since March 21 in a sign that the labor market is continuin its recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.
The total claims of 963,000 was well below the estimate of 1.1 million from economists surveyed by Dow Jones.
Jobless claims had totaled above 1 million for 20 consecutive weeks as the U.S. economy went into lockdown to contain Covid-19. The last time the total was below that number was March 14, with 282,000, just as the pandemic declaration first hit.
While the sub-1 million reading market s a milestone, there’s still plenty of work to do for the job market to get back to normal. Those collecting benefits for at least two weeks, known as continuing claims, totaled nearly 15.5 million, a decrease of 604,000 from a week ago but still well above pre-pandemic levels.
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