US initial unemployment claims drop for fourth straight week

Applications for U.S. state unemployment benefits dropped for a fourth consecutive week, a trend that suggests labor market conditions are improving as the economy recovers.

Initial unemployment claims in regular state programs dropped by 29,000 to 348,000 in the week ending Aug. 14, which is a pandemic low. Labor Department data showed that economists in a Bloomberg survey had called for a decline to 364,000. Continuing claims for state benefits fell to 2.8 million in the week ended Aug. 7, also the lowest since the pandemic began.

The decrease in initial claims points to business getting stronger and fewer dismissals as economic activity improves. Some states and cities have reintroduced mask mandates in recent weeks in response to coronavirus variants, and businesses have pushed back their return-to-office plans.

Texas and Illinois posted the largest declines in initial claims last week. Virginia posted the largest increase, followed by New Mexico and California. The initial claim figures coincide with the survey week for the Labor Department’s monthly job report. Continuing claims in all programs declined to 11.7 million in the week ended July 31. That compares to a high of about 32.8 million in June 2020.



The following two tabs change content below.
Paul, 37, is from Scotland in the UK, but currently lives and works in Bangkok. Paul has worked in different industries such as telemarketing, retail, hospitality, farming, insurance, and teaching, where he works now. He teaches at an all-girls High School in Bangkok. “It’s a lot of work, but I love my job.” Paul has an active interest in politics. His reason for writing for FBA is to offer people the facts and allow them to make up their own minds. Whilst he believes opinion columns have their place, it is also important that people can have accurate news with no bias.

Leave a Reply