The number of U.S. workers filing new jobless claims has fallen below 300,000 for the first time in a long time, the Department of Labor said in its weekly report on Thursday.
The ministry said there were 293,000 new registrations last week, a decrease of 36,000 from the previous week. This is the lowest value since mid-March 2020 when it was 256,000.
Most economists expected Thursday’s report to reveal about 320,000 new claims.
The department said the four-week moving average has dropped to around 334,200 and there are 2.59 million pending claims delaying initial filings by a week.
Pennsylvania reported the most new registrations, while California, Michigan, Missouri, and Texas saw the largest declines, according to Thursday’s report.
Last week the department said the US economy created fewer than 200,000 jobs in September. It was the second straight month that the official numbers were far from what analysts expected.