First-Time Unemployment Claims Fall to New Pandemic Low

Roy Maurer By Roy Maurer November 10, 2021
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woman laid off

​States reported that 267,000 workers filed for new unemployment benefits during the week ending November 6, the lowest level during the pandemic era. New claims are down significantly from earlier this year and are closing in on their 2019 weekly average of just over 200,000.

The total number of workers continuing to claim unemployment benefits ticked up to 2.1 million. By comparison, continuing claims had averaged 1.6 million throughout 2019.

The U.S. labor market is showing renewed momentum, as employers added 531,000 jobs in October, and the unemployment rate fell to a pandemic-era low of 4.6 percent. The economy is still more than 4 million jobs short of pre-pandemic levels however, and down by nearly 3 million workers, compared to February 2020.

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