Weekly Jobless Claims in U.S. Sink Below Million

First-time claims for unemployment insurance in the United States last fell below one million for the first time since March 21 in a sign that the labour market stateside is recovering from the coronavirus pandemic.

Figures released early Thursday by the U.S. Labor Department revealed the total claims of 963,000 was well below the estimate of 1.1 million from economists surveyed by Dow Jones.

Thursday’s report ended what had been a previous 20-week streak that new claims totaled more than one million, with tens of millions of Americans put out of work during the coronavirus pandemic and forced business closures that ensued. Since the week ended March 20, more than 55 million individuals have filed new unemployment insurance claims.

At 963,000 million, the number of new claims last week was at the lowest level since the start of the pandemic. Weekly jobless claims peaked with a one-week increase of about 6.9 million in late March. Prior to the pandemic, however, weekly jobless claims were coming in consistently below 250,000.

Nearly ever state across the country reported a decline in new claims last week on an unadjusted basis. Florida’s new unadjusted jobless claims improved by 23,000 last week for the largest numerical drop of any state. New York state followed close behind, with 22,000 fewer new claims filed last week than the week before.