First-Time Unemployment Claims Drop Below 200,000 for First Time Since May

The number of U.S. workers filing initial claims for unemployment assistance remained consistently above the 200,000 mark for the last 19 weeks.

Until now.

According to statistics released by the Labor Department, first-time claims fell to 193,000 in the week ending Sept. 24, a drop of 19,000 from the previous week.

It’s the first time the number of such claims had fallen below 200,000 since May.

Unemployment insurance claims dipped to their lowest level since April 23 when 181,000 signed up for initial claims, UPI reported. First-time filings had been over 200,000 applicants weekly since April 30, when 202,000 asked for assistance.

The filings for the week ending Sept. 24 broke a streak of 19 straight weeks where 200,000 or more filed for initial jobless benefits.

According to Labor Department statistics, the four-week moving average for first-time jobless benefits fell to 207,000, a decrease of 8,750 from the previous week’s revised average.

Overall, the number of people claiming unemployment benefits for the week ending on Sept. 17 was more than 1.3 million, a drop of 29,000 from the previous week, the Labor Department statistics showed.

The good jobs news comes after the Federal Reserve continues to slow it down because of inflation worries.

Last week, the Fed raised its benchmark interest rate by 0.75 percentage points to fight the highest inflation in 40 years. The move jumped the federal funds rate to the range of 3% to 3.25% after it remained near zero as recently as March.