First-Time Jobless Claims Improve

Roy Maurer By Roy Maurer October 7, 2021
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woman laid off

​States reported that 326,000 workers filed for new unemployment benefits during the week ending October 2, falling by 38,000 from the previous week's revised level after three weeks of increases. Although new claims are down significantly from this time last year—and have decreased by 50 percent from April 2021—they are still elevated compared to their 2019 weekly average of just over 200,000.

The total number of workers continuing to claim state unemployment benefits fell by 97,000 to 2.7 million. The number of job openings in the U.S. has continued to outpace the number of unemployed workers and the overall trending decline in jobless claims is evidence that hiring difficulty has been the bigger drag on the labor market in recent months, rather than layoffs and separations.

Meanwhile, the U.S. added 568,000 private-sector jobs in September, according to the ADP National Employment Report, released Wednesday. September employment data from the U.S. Department of Labor will be released Friday.

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