Another 709,000 Americans filed for first-time unemployment benefits the week ending Nov. 7, a decrease of 48,000 over the prior week.
The previous week’s revised level added 6,000 to hit 757,000, according to the weekly Bureau of Labor Statistics report released on Thursday (Nov. 12).
The total number of people claiming benefits in all programs for the week ending Oct. 24 was 21.2 million, a decrease of 374,179 from the previous week. There were 1.5 million people claiming benefits during the same time period last year.
Another 298,154 people filed for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance in the week ending Nov. 7. Combined, first-time claims were one million last week. Continued jobless claims — people filing for more than two weeks in a row — were 6.8 million.
The COVID-19 vaccine is expected to have a positive effect on the labor market and other areas of the economy.
“Households and firms are going to plan ahead, for example, by booking travel, vacation and capex [capital expenditures], and the implication is that we will immediately begin to see the positive effects on employment, GDP and earnings, even before the vaccine is available to the public,” Torsten Slok, chief economist for Apollo Global Management, told Yahoo! Finance.
The highest insured unemployment rates in the week ending Oct. 24 were in Hawaii (9.9), California (8.9), New Mexico (8.5), Nevada (8.2), the Virgin Islands (7.1), Massachusetts (7.0), Puerto Rico (6.9), Georgia (6.8), District of Columbia (6.5) and Alaska (6.1).
The largest increases in initial claims for the week ending Oct. 31 were in Illinois (+20,377), Kentucky (+3,868), Pennsylvania (+3,768), Ohio (+3,766) and Kansas (+2,711), while the largest decreases were in Massachusetts (-8,470), Georgia (-6,442), New York (-5,883), Michigan (-3,067) and New Jersey (-2,500).
The October jobs report showed that 661,000 jobs were added, below forecasts of 800,000 jobs from S&P Global Ratings analysts.