New jobless claims fall to lowest level since mid-March
by Jay Heflin, Business Editor |
| September 03, 2020 08:31 AM
The number of new applications for unemployment benefits dipped to 881,000 last week, the Labor Department reported Thursday in an encouraging sign for the economy.
Forecasters had projected 950,000 new jobless claims.
Instead, claims fell to the lowest level since mid-March, before the pandemic induced mass layoffs.
The drop hints at a slowdown in layoffs, which would be good news for the reeling labor market. But it also could be an artifact of changes the Labor Department made to its calculation of jobless claims. The agency employed a new methodology for adjusting for seasonal changes in employment, such as teachers returning to work or students quitting their jobs to return to school. The extreme rise in jobless claims caused by the pandemic made such adjustments difficult.