The number of Americans filing new unemployment claims decreased to 787,000 last week as the economy continues to suffer the effects of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, according to the Department of Labor.
The Bureau of Labor and Statistics figure released Thursday represented a decrease of new jobless claims compared to the week ending Oct. 10, in which there were 898,000 new jobless claims reported. Thursday’s figure was the lowest since March, according to CNBC.
Economists expected Thursday’s jobless claims number to come in around 875,000 CNBC reported. New jobless claims fell below 1 million in the first week of August, which was the first time the weekly claims had fallen below 1 million since March.
“The economy has been allowed to open back up,” Alfredo A. Romero, an economist at North Carolina A&T State University, told The Wall Street Journal. “But the question remains if people will be willing to come back, to eat a restaurant or shop at a mall, especially now that the colder weather is coming and cases are rising.”
Average coronavirus cases and deaths per million have been increasing steadily in the U.S. since around Oct. 17, according to The COVID Tracking Project and The Financial Times.
Jobless claims hovered around 200,000 per week before the pandemic, according to WSJ. President Donald Trump declared a national emergency in March as coronavirus spread rapidly around the world.
The U.S. added 661,000 jobs in September, while unemployment fell to 7.9%, according to the Department of Labor data released Oct. 2.
The U.S. economy plunged by a record 31.4% in the second quarter due to the pandemic. The third-quarter report, which will be released on Oct. 29, is expected to show significant growth, according to the Associated Press.
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