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U.S. Jobless Claims Get Closer to Pre-Pandemic Norms

U.S. Jobless Claims Get Closer to Pre-Pandemic Norms

Unemployment claims continue to trend downward and are approaching the normal levels seen prior to the pandemic. While the labor market is still challenged as companies are struggling to fill positions and hold onto their current employees, worker filings for initial claims for unemployment insurance benefits dropped for a third straight week. Initial claims totaled a seasonally adjusted 290,000 in the week-ending October 16, according to the most recent data release from the U.S. Department of Labor. That was a decrease of 6,000 from the previous week’s revised level of 296,000 and the lowest level for initial claims since March 14, 2020, when there were 256,000 claims filed. Economists had projected initial claims to increase to 300,000. Still, the most recent level of new claims remains above the average weekly pace prior to the pandemic in 2019, when initial weekly claims averaged 218,000. Since the onset of the pandemic, nearly 90.2 million initial unemployment insurance claims have been filed in the U.S.