First-Time Unemployment Claims Take a Modest Dip to Three-Month Low

The number of U.S. workers filing for first-time unemployment assistance dropped – albeit modestly – for the fifth straight week and reached a level not seen in more than three months.

Initial claims for unemployment benefits dropped to 213,000 during the week ending Sept. 10, according to statistics released Thursday by the Labor Department. That’s a 5,000-claim dropped that left the number of such claims at its lowest level since May 28.

It’s also lower than what economists thought. They reportedly were expecting weekly initial filings of 226,000, according to Refinitiv estimates, CNN reported.

Continuing jobless claims for the week ending Sept. 3 were 1.4 million, up 2,000 from the previous week.

Labor Department statistics also showed the four-week moving average dropped to 224,000, a decrease of 8,000 from the previous week’s revised average of 232,000. That’s also a three-month low.

“While overall economic activity is expected to slow, leading to a mild recession in H1 2023, labor markets for now remain quite tight,” Nancy Vanden Houten, Lead U.S. Economist at Oxford Economics, told “We expect employers to slow the pace of hiring before conducting any major layoffs and don’t see any actual aggregate job losses until mid-2023. “As a result, claims are likely to remain relatively low, at least in the near term,” she added.