First-Time Unemployment Assistance Hits Lowest Level of Pandemic at 840,000 Claims

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Another 840,000 Americans filed for first-time unemployment insurance assistance for the week ending Oct. 3, the U.S. Department of Labor reported Thursday. The most recent figure represents the lowest weekly total of first-time claims since the coronavirus caused a nationwide shutdown in mid-March. Economists surveyed by Dow Jones expected 825,000 claims for the week. The figure for the week ending Oct. 1 is down slightly from the prior week’s revised number, when 849,000 Americans filed for assistance. The four-week moving average decreased by 642,000 claims, to slightly over 12.1 million.

Continuing claims, for which data is a week behind, totaled nearly 11 million for the week ending Sept. 29. That figure is a decrease of more than 1 million claims from the prior week.

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