After reporting an unexpected increase in first-time claims for U.S. unemployment benefits in the previous week, the Labor Department released a report on Thursday showing initial jobless claims pulled back in the week ended August 22nd.
The report said initial jobless claims dropped to 1.006 million, a decrease of 98,000 from the previous week’s revised level of 1.104 million.
Economists had expected jobless claims to decline to 1.000 million from the 1.106 million originally reported for the previous week.
With jobless claims stuck above 1 million, Nancy Vanden Houten, Lead U.S. Economist at Oxford Economics said, “The data show that layoffs remain widespread and underscore that a full recovery in the labor market won’t occur until the coronavirus is well under control.”
The Labor Department said the less volatile four-week moving average also fell to 1,068,000, a decrease of 107,250 from the previous week’s revised average of 1,175,250.
Continuing claims, a reading on the number of people receiving ongoing unemployment assistance, also tumbled by 223,000 to 14.535 million in the week ended August 15th.
The four-week moving average of continuing claims plunged to 15,215,750, a decrease of 604,000 from the previous week’s revised average of 15,819,750.
Next Friday, the Labor Department is scheduled to release its more closely watched monthly report on the employment situation.
Economists currently expect employment to jump by 1.550 million jobs in August after surging up by 1.763 million jobs in July. The unemployment rate is expected to dip to 9.9 percent from 10.2 percent.