New weekly jobless claims likely took another step lower last week, with the labor market’s recovery still making headway despite the lingering threat of the Delta variant.
The Labor Department is set to release its weekly jobless claims report on Thursday at 8:30 a.m. ET. Here are the main metrics expected from the print, compared to consensus estimates compiled by Bloomberg:
Initial unemployment claims, week ended August 7: 375,000 expected and 385,000 during prior week Continuing claims, week ended July 31:2.900 million expected and 2.930 million during prior week
New weekly jobless claims are expected to fall for a third straight period, and come in below the psychologically important 400,000 level. Continuing claims likely dipped to a fresh pandemic-era low below 3 million, pacing back toward pre-virus levels.
Economists have been expecting to see an improvement in the number of individuals returning to the labor force as more states roll off federal enhanced unemployment benefits. As of mid-summer, about two dozen states had decided to end these benefits ahead of their official September expiration date at the national level, in a move seen as incentivizing workers to return to jobs.