Another 840,000 Americans filed new jobless claims last week: 'The downward trend has stalled'

The US Department of Labor Building on March 26, 2020, in Washington, DC.
(Image credit: ALEX EDELMAN/AFP via Getty Images)

The number of Americans filing new jobless claims has again come in higher than expected.

The Labor Department on Thursday said that 840,000 Americans filed first-time jobless claims last week, a decline of 9,000 claims from the revised number from the previous week. This was higher than the 825,000 claims economists had been expecting, CNBC reports. Continuing claims fell to 10.98 million, a decline of around a million claims.

"The decline in continuing claims is welcome, but initial claims offer a better read on the real-time state of the labor market, and the downward trend has stalled, more or less," Pantheon Macroeconomics chief economist Ian Shepherdson told CNBC.

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The number of new claims also still remains significantly higher than the record for most jobless claims filed in a week prior to the coronavirus pandemic, which was 695,000. Bleakley Advisory Group chief investment officer Peter Boockvar said, per CNN, "Let's hope we soon break below the 800k mark in initial claims soon because hanging around the 800k+ level is still not a good place to be, especially going into the winter."

Additionally, Navy Federal Credit Union corporate economist Robert Frick told The Washington Post, "The story is, we've hit a plateau in unemployment claims. That is going to hurt the jobless rate and lead to more people eventually leaving the labor force. ... I'm not seeing the kind of job creation that would lead us to believe that these claims are going to fall."

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Brendan Morrow

Brendan is a staff writer at The Week. A graduate of Hofstra University with a degree in journalism, he also writes about horror films for Bloody Disgusting and has previously contributed to The Cheat Sheet, Heavy, WhatCulture, and more. He lives in New York City surrounded by Star Wars posters.