The latest installment of our weekly good news/bad news look at the American economy has more of the former in the metrics — while perhaps more of the latter in the future. The Department of Labor reported that initial jobless claims came in at 881,000 for the week ending August 29, the first time since the start of the pandemics and shutdowns that it has fallen below 900,000, and only the second time it has fallen below one million. The drop of over 100,000 new claims overcame a small upward revision last week of five thousand, and the new four-week average is now below a million new claims.
That’s not the only good news in the report, either. More than a million workers came off state-paid benefits rolls, suggesting that the expiration of government support programs at the beginning of the month didn’t do much to damage the jobs recovery under way since May (emphases mine):
In the week ending August 29, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 881,000, a decrease of 130,000 from the previous week’s revised level. The previous week’s level was revised up by 5,000 from 1,006,000 to 1,011,000. The 4-week moving average was 991,750, a decrease of 77,500 from the previous week’s revised average. The previous week’s average was revised up by 1,250 from 1,068,000 to 1,069,250.
The advance seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate was 9.1 percent for the week ending August 22, a decrease of 0.8 percentage point from the previous week’s unrevised rate. The advance number for seasonally adjusted insured unemployment during the week ending August 22 was 13,254,000, a decrease of 1,238,000 from the previous week’s revised level. The previous week’s level was revised down by 43,000 from 14,535,000 to 14,492,000. The 4-week moving average was 14,496,250, a decrease of 709,000 from the previous week’s revised average. The previous week’s average was revised down by 10,500 from 15,215,750 to 15,205,250.