Jobless Claims Fall to 881,000, Lowest Since Pandemic Hit

Walmart Hiring Sign by Mike Mozart is licensed under Flickr CC BY 2.0
Fewer than one million U.S. workers filed new claims for unemployment benefits in the final week of August, the Labor Department said in its weekly report Thursday.

The government said 881,000 new claims for the week ending August 29, a new low for unemployment claims since the labor market was rocked by the coronavirus pandemic.

Economists had forecast 958,000 new claims, down from the 1.006 million initially reported for the prior week. The prior week was revised up by 5,000 to 1,011,000.

Claims hit a record 6.87 million for the week of March 27. Until a month ago, each subsequent week had seen claims decline. But in late July, the labor market appeared to stall and claims have since hovered around one million, a level so high it was never recorded before the pandemic struck.