Initial jobless claims fell below 300,000 for the first time since the early days of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Labor Department said Thursday.
In another sign that the jobs market is getting closer to its old self, first-time claims for unemployment insurance totaled 293,000, the best level since March 14, 2020, which saw 256,000 claims just as the Covid-19 spread intensified.
The Dow Jones estimate for claims was 318,000. Last week’s total represented a decline of 36,000 from the previous week.
The four-week moving average, which helps smooth out weekly volatility, dropped to 334,250, a 10,5000 decline that also marked the lowest number since March 14, 2020.
Also, continuing claims, which run a week behind the headline number, declined by 134,000 to 2.59 million, another pandemic-era low.
A separate economic release Thursday showed that prices for final-demand wholesale goods increased 0.5% in September, slightly below the 0.6% Dow Jones estimate for the producer price index.
However, on a 12-month basis, the index increased 8.6%, a fresh record for a data series that goes back to November 2010 and reflective of the current inflationary climate, according to the Labor Department.
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