Unemployment claims total 340,000, lowest level since March 2020

Unemployment claims total 340,000, lowest level since March 2020

Signage at the Job News USA Career Fair on June 23, 2021 in Louisville, Kentucky.

Luc Sharret | Bloomberg | Getty Images

The Labor Department reported Thursday that initial unemployment insurance claims fell last week to their lowest level since March 2020, another sign that the labor market is slowly improving.

For the week ending August 28, the total number of jobless claims stood at 340,000, compared to 345,000 according to the Dow Jones estimate. This is the lowest level for initial claims since March 14, 2020, when a total of 256,000 claims were first claimed, before the coronavirus pandemic caused a historic peak in claims.

The initial level of claims rose from 1,000 to 353,000 to 354,000 last week.

The level of open claims, a measure of outstanding benefits, was 2.75 million, down 160,000 from the revised level the previous week. The reduction in the number of claims issued also represents the lowest level of insured unemployment since the start of the COVID era in March 2020.

The jobless claims data comes a day ahead of the Department of Labor’s all-important monthly employment report, a detailed update Wall Street uses as an indicator of the broader U.S. labor market.

This report will show how the US labor market fared in September. Economists expect US employers to add 720,000 payrolls last month and the unemployment rate to drop from 5.4% to 5.2%.

This is last minute news. Please check for updates.

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