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Another 323,000 people were likely to file new claims last week

Another 323,000 people were likely to file new claims last week

New weekly unemployment claims probably rose only slightly from a low level in the pandemic last week, pointing to sustained improvements in the labor market recovery.

The Labor Department is ready to publish its weekly unemployment report on Thursday at. 8:30 ET. Here are the key metrics expected from the press, compared to consensus estimates compiled by Bloomberg:

  • First unemployment requirement, week ended 11 September: 323,000 expected and 310,000 over the last week

  • Continued requirements, week ended 4 September: 2,740 million expected and 2,783 million during the previous week

Initial unemployment demands fell more than expected to reach their lowest level since March 2020 in early September, as the pace of the unemployed approached standards before the pandemic. New unemployment claims had come in at a rate of around 220,000 a month throughout 2019.

“A combination of adverse seasons and an increase in the number of applications delayed by Hurricane Ida suggests that claims will rise to around 330K from 310K,” wrote Ian Shepherdson, chief economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics, in a note. “But the trend is falling.”

The four-week moving average for weekly new claims has also moved to its lowest level in 18 months, reaching around 339,500 from last week. This metric helps even out some of the volatility in weekly figures and has been on a clear downward path throughout the year. The continued decline in new demands has also underscored that labor shortages and employment difficulties have been the major drag on the labor market in recent months, rather than layoffs and layoffs.

The number of individuals who are still unemployed and demanding benefits over a longer period of time has also coincided with the decline in new filers. On August 21, the total number of plaintiffs across state and federal programs was just over 11.9 million, marking a drop of more than 250,000 over the previous week.

However, the amount of these total plaintiffs underestimates the real-time decrease in the total number of plaintiffs, as the data report a delay of several weeks. On September 6, unemployment benefits from the federal pandemic era previously approved by Congress expired in all states.

This included programs such as pandemic unemployment assistance, which provided benefits to group workers and contractors who were not eligible for regular government programs, and Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation, which offered extended benefits to those who exhausted ordinary state insurance. A total of 8.9 million Americans claimed benefits between these two programs from mid-August, which made up the clear majority of total claims at the time.

While some economists and politicians have suggested that the end of the improved federal unemployment benefits may catalyze a broader return to work, others have been more skeptical given the ongoing concerns about coronavirus.

“Unfortunately, Delta appears to have left workers uncomfortable returning to the workforce,” Bank of America economist Michelle Meyer wrote in a note Wednesday. “All eyes are on the wider expiration of the UI [unemployment insurance] benefits will lead to greater work participation in the coming weeks. “

This post will be updated with the Labor Department’s weekly unemployment report on Thursday at. 8:30 ET. Check back for updates.

Emily McCormick is a reporter for Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter: @emily_mcck

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