US jobless claims fall to 326,000, first drop in four weeks

The number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits fell last week, another sign that the U.S. job market and economy continue their steady recovery from last year's coronavirus recession.

Associated Press

Oct 7, 2021, 1:38 PM

Updated 981 days ago

Share:

US jobless claims fall to 326,000, first drop in four weeks
The number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits fell last week, another sign that the U.S. job market and economy continue their steady recovery from last year's coronavirus recession.
Unemployment claims fell by 38,000 to 326,000, the first drop in four weeks, the Labor Department said Thursday. Since surpassing 900,000 in early January, the weekly applications, a proxy for layoffs, had fallen more or less steadily all year. Still, they remain elevated from pre-pandemic levels: Before COVID-19 hammered the U.S. economy in March 2020, weekly claims were consistently coming in at around 220,000.
After hitting a pandemic low of 312,000 in early September, claims had risen three straight weeks, suggesting that the highly contagious delta variant was at least temporarily disrupting a recovery in jobs.
Contingent Macro Advisors said the recent uptick was also partly caused by backlog in processing orders in California and other states. Shutdowns at auto plants resulting from a shortage of computer chips could make the numbers volatile over the next few weeks, Contingent said, but “the trend towards lower jobless claims remains intact.''
Overall, the job market has been rebounding with surprising strength since the spring of 2020. Forced to shut down or restrict hours as a health precaution, employers slashed more than 22 million jobs in March and April last year. But massive aid from the federal government and the rollout of vaccines has supported an economic recovery, providing consumers with the financial wherewithal to spend and the confidence to return to restaurants, bars and shops.
So far this year, employers have been adding 586,000 jobs a month, and this month's employment report, due Friday, is expected to show they tacked on another 488,000 in September, according to a survey of economists by the data firm FactSet.
Companies are now complaining that they can't find workers fast enough to fill their job openings, a record 10.9 million in July.
Altogether, 2.7 million Americans were receiving some type of jobless aid the week of Sept. 25, down by 97,000 from the week before. In early September, the federal government stopped additional aid - including $300 a week on top of traditional state benefits - that was meant to ease the economic impact of the pandemic.


More from News 12
2:04
Village of Sleepy Hollow raises Pride flag for first time despite opposition from some residents

Village of Sleepy Hollow raises Pride flag for first time despite opposition from some residents

1:23
Mostly sunny weekend weather and low humidity in the Hudson Valley

Mostly sunny weekend weather and low humidity in the Hudson Valley

1:39
Showing support for Ukraine in the Hudson Valley during Yonkers Ukrainian Heritage Festival

Showing support for Ukraine in the Hudson Valley during Yonkers Ukrainian Heritage Festival

0:47
Westchester Medical Center pioneers robotic procedure to help those with severe hearing loss

Westchester Medical Center pioneers robotic procedure to help those with severe hearing loss

0:29
Carmel police warn people about recent car burglaries

Carmel police warn people about recent car burglaries

0:35
Prosecutors: Former Wallkill firefighter sentenced to prison for 2021 arson incident

Prosecutors: Former Wallkill firefighter sentenced to prison for 2021 arson incident

1:47
EXCLUSIVE: News 12 uncovers police data that shows 19 children struck by vehicles in Ramapo in 6 months

EXCLUSIVE: News 12 uncovers police data that shows 19 children struck by vehicles in Ramapo in 6 months

1:28
Officials: 7 people injured, 13 families displaced in Yonkers fire

Officials: 7 people injured, 13 families displaced in Yonkers fire

0:33
Dutchess County Sheriff's Office: Connecticut man killed in Town of Dover crash

Dutchess County Sheriff's Office: Connecticut man killed in Town of Dover crash

1:03
PARENTS: Dutchess County children lost for 2 hours on nightmare bus ride home

PARENTS: Dutchess County children lost for 2 hours on nightmare bus ride home

1:35
Orange County billiard player wins national championship, first competitor from Hudson Valley to do so in 30 years

Orange County billiard player wins national championship, first competitor from Hudson Valley to do so in 30 years

0:46
Police: 1 killed, 2 injured in East Fishkill collision involving garbage truck

Police: 1 killed, 2 injured in East Fishkill collision involving garbage truck

0:23
Democratic Westchester DA candidate Adeel Mirza drops out of race

Democratic Westchester DA candidate Adeel Mirza drops out of race

2:19
Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts provides summer entertainment in Katonah

Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts provides summer entertainment in Katonah

0:41
Weather On The Road: Matt Hammer visits New York Boulders stadium

Weather On The Road: Matt Hammer visits New York Boulders stadium

2:33
Food Truck Friday: The Patty Wagon from Freddy's Restaurant in Pleasantville

Food Truck Friday: The Patty Wagon from Freddy's Restaurant in Pleasantville

Is your dad awesome? Hudson Valley tell us why your dad rocks!

Is your dad awesome? Hudson Valley tell us why your dad rocks!

1:46
Parents: Suffern High School students suspended, banned from prom after livestock senior prank

Parents: Suffern High School students suspended, banned from prom after livestock senior prank

1:51
John Oliver delivers kitchen equipment to cake bear makers as next LWT episode nears

John Oliver delivers kitchen equipment to cake bear makers as next LWT episode nears