US weekly jobless claims fall to 709k amid slowing recovery

The number of initial jobless claims in the US fell to 709,000 last week, as the labour market continues to recover at a slowing pace, the Labour Department reported.

In the week ending November 7, the number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits decreased by 48,000 from the previous week’s upwardly revised level of 757,000, Xinhua news agency quoted a report released on Thursday by the Department’s Bureau of Labour Statistics as saying.

It marked the fourth time in the past 34 weeks that the number has dipped below 800,000, and the 12th time it has come in below 1 million.

The number of people continuing to collect regular state unemployment benefits in the week ending October 31 decreased by 436,000 to 6.79 million, the report showed.

Meanwhile, the recipients of Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation, a federal program that provides an additional 13 weeks of benefits for those who exhaust regular state benefits, rose by 159,776 to reach 4.14 million in the week ending October 24.

The total number of people claiming benefits in all programs — state and federal combined — for the week ending October 24 declined by 374,179 yet remained elevated at 21.16 million, indicating the pandemic’s severe disruption of the labour market.