US weekly jobless claims fall to 751k amid slow recovery

Updated: Oct 30,2020 03:51 GMT

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IANS

Washington, Oct 30 (IANS) The number of initial jobless claims in the US fell to 751,000 last week, as the labour market continues to recover at a slowing pace, according to an official report.

In the report on Thursday, the Labour Department's Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) said that in the week ending October 24, the number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits decreased by 40,000 from the previous week's upwardly revised level of 791,000, Xinhua news agency reported.

It marks the second time the number has dipped below 800,000 in the past 32 weeks, and the 10th time it has come in below 1 million.

The claims report was released on the same day as the Commerce Department reported that US economic activity in the third quarter grew at an annual rate of 33.1 per cent after a sharp contraction in the previous quarter.

Despite the seemingly fast rebound, the US economy in the third quarter was down by 2.9 per cent compared with that a year ago, according to the advance estimate released by the Department's Bureau of Economic Analysis.

The economy is still about 3.5 per cent smaller than it was at the end of the last year, before it was ravaged by the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.

The claims report also showed that the number of people continuing to collect regular state unemployment benefits in the week ending October 17 decreased by 709,000 to 7.76 million.

Meanwhile, the recipients of Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation, a federal program that provides an additional 13 weeks of benefits for those who exhaust regular state benefits, rose by 387,340 to reach 3.68 million in the week ending October 10.

The total number of people claiming benefits in all programs -- state and federal combined -- for the week ending October 10 declined by 415,727 yet remained elevated at 22.65 million, indicating the pandemic's severe disruption to the labour market.

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