(FreedomJournal.org)- Weekly jobless claims have been steadily dropping for weeks, and this week plummeted to their lowest levels since the early days of the pandemic. The news means that fewer people are losing work as millions of Americans re-enter the workforce, and is likely to provide President Donald Trump with an advantage in the final weeks of the presidential campaign.
New filings for jobless claims dropped to 787,000 over the last week, which is the lowest since the beginning of the outbreak. CNBC reported that the total number “reflected a decline of 55,000 from the downwardly revised 842,000 from the previous week.”
The last time that the number of weekly new job losses was lower than this was on March 14, when 282,000 applied for unemployment benefits. The week after, unemployment skyrocketed as much of the United States was forced into lockdown under the initial “15 Days to Slow the Spread Plan.”
While jobless claims were expected to continue going down, economics had expected the total number to be roughly 90,000 higher than it was. One possible reason for the lower-than-expected number was some American workers shifting over to the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance emergency program that has picked up the slack after the regular benefit options ran out.
Continuing claims, however, have also seen a substantial drop. It means that as states begin to reopen, workers are finding their way back into the workforce, whether that’s returning to their old jobs or finding new employment.
The number of people receiving unemployment for at least two weeks dropped by over 1 million to 8.37 million.
Speaking to CNBC, Pantheon Macroeconomics chief economist Ian Shepherdson said it was good news, but that it doesn’t represent a direct one-to-one transfer to payrolls.
“Some people no longer claiming benefits may have dropped out of the labor force, while some might have taken non-payroll gig or freelance jobs,” he said. “Moreover, continuing claims lag initial claims, so if initial claims start rising again, continuing claims will follow.”
Today’s unemployment insurance weekly claims report has encouraging news about the job market.
— Secretary Scalia (@SecGeneScalia) October 22, 2020
Labour Secretary Eugene Scalia said that the news was “encouraging” for the job market.