The number of Americans seeking new unemployment benefits fell last week, the lowest level since pre-1969, less than a year and a half after the epidemic began, the Feds said Wednesday.
As of last week, initial filings for unemployment benefits, seen as a proxy for dismissal, fell to 199,000, down from the previous week’s revised level of 270,000 to 71,000, according to data released Wednesday by the Labor Department.
Dow Jones surveyed economists expect new claims to drop to 260,000 after seeing a five-week decline.
After a tick in September, the new claims are steadily falling as the labor market slowly recovers, but Wednesday’s report showed a figure decline, indicating a strong recovery in the labor market this month.
Weekly new claims fell significantly from the 2020 peak of about 6.1 million new claims in a single week, and now crosses 200,000 new claims a week before the epidemic.
Still, the recovery in the labor market could be threatened by the recent resurgence of COVID-19, which could once again put people out of work, sending more claims back.
Wednesday’s report showed that continued claims fell by 60,000 from the previous week’s revised levels, according to new data. In the thick of the epidemic, the figure was about 6 million at the same time last year.
Only 2 million Americans remain on traditional state unemployment benefits, the Fed added.
The Labor Department reported earlier this month that companies managed to add 531,000 jobs in October – the largest monthly gain in three months – and the unemployment rate fell to 4.6 percent from 4.8 percent a month ago.
The economy lost more than 4 million jobs compared to just before the epidemic.
Two weeks after the Feds announced that the Labor Department’s Consumer Price Index measures the basket of goods and services and energy costs, the latest unemployment report jumped 6.2 percent from a year earlier in October. Rise per year for more than 30 years.
The massive price increase has sparked criticism from some economists and politicians who blame the Federal Reserve, saying President Jay Powell pumped more money into the economy through emergency epidemic programs.
The burning inflation readout prompted some renewed calls by the Federal Reserve to expedite the tapering of its bond-buying program and raise interest rates sooner rather than later.
But the Fed has insisted that the cost increases are only temporary and that it would be wrong to raise interest rates before improving the employment picture.