Good News on Initial Claims

They have fallen to within spitting distance of the pre-2020 record.

Obviously, this is good news only in a relative context.

 I still do not know what is keeping the economy afloat

New applications for unemployment benefits so far this month fell to the lowest levels since the coronavirus pandemic shut many businesses in March, a sign of improvement for the U.S. economy.

Weekly initial claims for jobless benefits, a proxy for layoffs, fell by 55,000 to a seasonally adjusted 787,000 in the week ended Oct. 17, the Labor Department said Thursday. Claims for the prior two weeks were revised lower, reflecting new data from California. The revised level of claims for the week ended Oct. 3—767,000—was the lowest since the March 14 week, when less than 300,000 new claims were filed.

Declining layoffs add to indicators the economy is continuing to heal from the pandemic downturn. The National Association of Realtors reported Thursday that existing-home sales rose 9.4% in September to the highest level since 2006, and consumer spending rose last month, despite historically high unemployment.

Still, with millions out of work and concerns about a resurgence of the virus in many parts of the country, many economists expect the pace of economic recovery to slow.

 Still waiting for the other shoe to drop,

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