Initial filings for unemployment insurance fell last week to their lowest levels since March 2020 in another sign that the labor market is gradually improving from the Covid-19 era, the Labor Department reported Thursday.
First-time jobless claims totaled 340,000 for the week ended August 28, compared with the 345,000 Dow Jones estimate. That is the lowest level for initial claims since March 14, 2020 when first-time claims totaled 256,000, just before the coronavirus pandemic caused a historic rush to unemployment benefits.
The previous week's level of initial claims was revised up by 1,000 from 353,000 to 354,000.
The level of continuing claims, the measure of ongoing benefits, was 2.75 million, a decrease of 160,000 from the previous week's revised level. The decrease in the number of continuing claims also represents the lowest level for insured unemployment since the Covid era began.