It’s Jobless Thursday

Initial unemployment claims fellell to a post pandemic low of 364,000, which is actually down to the level of a bad week in the before time:

Worker filings for jobless benefits fell to a new pandemic low last week and resumed a monthslong downward trend, adding to signs of a recovering labor market.

Initial jobless claims fell by 51,000 to a seasonally adjusted 364,000 in the week ended June 26 from the prior week’s revised total of 415,000, the Labor Department said Thursday.

The drop brought the four-week moving average, which smooths out volatility in the weekly figures, to 392,750, also a pandemic low. Jobless claims, a proxy for layoffs, are down by about 50% since the first week of April, but remain above pre-pandemic levels.

“We are seeing labor-market progress,” said AnnElizabeth Konkel, an economist at job-search site Indeed. She added that “we still have just a little bit more ways to go” before unemployment claims reach pre-pandemic levels.

Initial claims were at 256,000 on March 14, 2020, as Covid-19 took hold in the U.S. The 2019 average for claims was 218,000.

Thursday’s decline in unemployment claims came ahead of the June U.S. employment report, set to be released by the Labor Department on Friday. Economists project that employers created 706,000 jobs last month and that the unemployment rate fell to 5.6%.

As always, I will go with the under.

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