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New Jobless Claims Plummet to Lowest Level Since March

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The number of Americans filing new unemployment claims decreased to 881,000 last week as the economy continues to suffer the effects of the coronavirus pandemic, according to the Department of Labor.

The Department of Labor figure released Thursday represented a decrease of new jobless claims.

For the week ending on Aug. 22, there were 1,006,000 new jobless claims reported.

Economists expected Thursday’s number to come in at 950,000, according to CNBC.

New jobless claims fell below 1 million in the first week of August, marking the first time the number was under 1 million since March.

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“The declines that we’re seeing are positive,” said Ernie Tedeschi, managing director and policy economist for investment banking advisory firm Evercore ISI, The New York Times reported.

“But they point to a long, drawn out recovery.”

“We’re chipping away at the losses in terms of the number of jobs and some of the weaknesses there,” Sarah House, a Wells Fargo Securities senior economist, told The Wall Street Journal last week.

“[B]ut there’s still a long ways to go.”

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Jobless claims hovered around 200,000 per week before the pandemic, according to WSJ.

President Donald Trump declared a national emergency in March as coronavirus spread rapidly around the world.

Thursday’s jobless claims report comes as the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics prepares to release August unemployment figures on Friday.

According to Business Insider, some economists estimate the report will show 1.37 million jobs were added back to the economy in August.

That figure would reveal strong but slowing progress since adding 1.8 million in July and 4.8 million in June.

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The unemployment rate is expected to fall below 10 percent for the first time since March.

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