(Reuters) – The number of Americans filing new claims for jobless benefits inched down last week, signaling the U.S. labor market is making little fresh headway in getting millions of people back on the job after being out of work due to COVID-19 disruptions.
Initial claims for state unemployment benefits totaled a seasonally adjusted 840,000 for the week ended Oct. 3, compared with an upwardly revised 849,000 in the prior week, the Labor Department said on Thursday. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast 820,000 applications in the latest week.
While last week’s level of new claims was the lowest since March, they have stalled at historically high levels after dropping below 1 million in August as the government changed the way it strips seasonal fluctuations from the data. They are above their 665,000 peak during the 2007-09 Great Recession, though filings have dropped from a record 6.867 million at the