| 18 May 2024, Saturday |

US Weekly Jobless Claims at 310,000 in New Pandemic Low

US jobless claims rose by 310,000 last week, remaining below the key 400,000 for a sixth straight week for a new pandemic low, the Labor Department data said on 9 September.

“In the week ending September 4, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 310,000, a decrease of 35,000 from the previous week’s revised level,” the department said in a statement. “This is the lowest level for initial claims since March 14, 2020 when it was 256,000.”

Economists polled by US media forecast 335,000 unemployment claims for the latest week on file, putting what the department reported at just above target.

Continuing claims for the week that ended on August 28 — reported with a one-week lag — were at 2.78 million, barely changed from the 2.81 million reading for the week to August 21. That left the weekly unemployment rate unchanged at 2.0 percent.

More than a year into the COVID-19 crisis, restoring job growth remains one of the main concerns of US policymakers.

The United States lost more than 21 million jobs between March and April 2020, at the height of business lockdowns forced by the coronavirus. More than 7 million of those jobs have yet to return, officials say.

The US economy itself shrank 3.5 percent in 2020. This year though, growth has been quite dynamic, with a 6.5 percent rebound for the second quarter though that was still below the 8.5 percent expected by economists.

The Federal Reserve thinks growth will average at 6.5 percent for all of 2021. But Chairman Jerome Powell also says it may take a while for “full employment” — defined by a monthly unemployment rate of 4.0 percent or lower — to occur. The monthly unemployment rate stood at 5.2 percent in August.

  • Sputnik