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New Jobless Claims Drop for the First Time in 4 Weeks

New jobless claims for the week ending Oct. 2 dropped 38,000 to 326,000 compared to the previous week’s level of 364,000, according to the Thursday (Oct. 7) report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The previous week’s level was revised up by 2,000 from 362,000.

The four-week moving average increased 3,500 from the previous week’s revised average of 344,000. The prior week was revised up by 500 to 340,500.

The advance number for seasonally adjusted insured unemployment during the week ending Sept. 25 was 2.71 million, down 97,000 from the previous week’s revised level. This is the lowest level for insured unemployment since March 14, 2020 when it was 1.77 million.

See also: Pandemic Alters Freelancing for Workers, Employers

Continued weeks claimed for benefits in all programs for the week ending Sept. 18 was approximately 4.17 million, down of 854,638 from the previous week. During the same time period in 2020, there were roughly 24.61 million claims.

The highest insured unemployment rates in the week ending Sept. 18 were Puerto Rico, Illinois, California, Hawaii, New Jersey, Nevada, Alaska, Oregon, Louisiana and New York. The biggest increases were California, Michigan, Texas, District of Columbia and Minnesota, while the largest decreases were in Virginia, Maryland, Arizona, Louisiana and Ohio.

Michigan and Texas pointed to layoffs in the manufacturing sector as reasons for their uptick in unemployment claims, while Missouri indicated that it was manufacturing layoffs as well as job losses in educational services and the accommodation and food services sector.

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“When you filter out the noise and temporary factors, employers are still holding on to the workers they have, knowing that if they let them go, they are going to be very hard to replace,” Robert Frick, corporate economist at the Navy Federal Credit Union, told The Wall Street Journal.

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