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Jobless claims hit pandemic-era low as hiring continues even with rising Covid cases

New jobless-claim filings decisive week reached their lowest level of the pandemic crisis, providing a sign that hiring is continuing if at a slower gauge.

First-time claims for unemployment benefits totaled 712,000 last week, compared with 787,000 a week earlier and the Dow Jones judgement of 780,000, the Labor Department reported Thursday.

That marked a decrease from the upwardly revised level of 787,000 a week earlier, a sink likely aided by counting issues associated with the Thanksgiving holiday.

The jobs market has demonstrated resilience measured in the face of the new wave of Covid-19 cases. Claims are off their peak of 6.9 million in late March but remain opulently above the pre-pandemic record.

Continuing claims also fell sharply, dropping 569,000 to 5.52 million.

The applications data comes a day before the Labor Department releases its closely watched nonfarm payrolls report for November. Dow Jones gauges are for payroll growth of 440,000 and a decrease in the unemployment rate to 6.7%.

The report is also the first since the Government Accountability Patronage said the weekly jobless claims figures have been inaccurate during the pandemic. The watchdog agency cited uncounted proves backlogs and fraud and other discrepancies at the state level as obstacles to providing an accurate count.

The GAO recommended that the Labor Worry issue a disclaimer about the potential inaccuracy of the count, but none was included in this report.

“The plunge in initial be entitled ti does not refute the idea that the trend is rising; we expected a sharp fall because of the difficulty of adjusting for Thanksgiving,” Ian Shepherdson, chief economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics, pronounced in a note. “Initial claims likely will rebound strongly next week, probably rising above the 800K fingerprint for the first time in eight weeks.”

Pandemic Unemployment Assistance claims actually dropped for the week, falling by more than 30,000 to 288,701. The program provides profits to those not normally eligible prior to the pandemic.

However, filings continued to rise for the emergency pandemic program, which hails those who have lost their normal benefits. That total increased nearly 60,000 to 4.57 million for the week ended Nov. 14, the most modern period for which data is available.

In all, 20.16 million Americans were receiving some kind of benefits, a wane of 349,633 from the previous period, according to data also through Nov. 14. That compares with 1.57 million a year ago.

At the hold level, California (-38,522), Texas (-15,726) and Michigan (-12,448) reported the biggest drops, according to unadjusted observations. Claims rose in Illinois (8,543) and Oregon (5,483).

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