The number of workers in the United States filing new unemployment claims has fallen below 300,000 for the first time in a long time, the Labor Department said in its weekly report Thursday.
The department said there were 293,000 new filings last week, a decrease of 36,000 from the week before. That’s the lowest figure since mid-March of 2020, when there were 256,000.
Most economists expected Thursday’s report to show about 320,000 new claims.
The department said the four-week moving average fell to about 334,200, and there were 2.59 million continuing claims, which lag initial filings by a week.
Thursday’s report said Pennsylvania reported the most new filings, while California, Michigan, Missouri and Texas saw the greatest decreases.
Last week, the department said the U.S. economy added fewer than 200,000 jobs during the month of September. It was the second month in a row that the official figure was far off analysts’ expectations.