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Weekly Jobless Claims Fall Below 1 Million For First Time Since March

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Around 963,000 Americans filed new unemployment claims last week, marking the first time the figure dropped below 1 million since March, according to the Department of Labor.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics figure released Thursday represented a decrease of 228,000 new jobless claims compared to week that ended Aug. 1. That number also beat Wall Street analysts’ expectations, according to CNBC.

Economists surveyed by Dow Jones estimated the number of jobless claims for the first full week in August to come in at 1.1 million, CNBC reported. (RELATED: US Economy Added 1.8 Million Jobs In July, Unemployment At 10.2%)

Continuing claims, or those collecting benefits for at least two weeks, numbered 15.5 million. That number represented a decrease of 604,000 from the week before.

Even as the United States economy shows signs of improvement, the effects of the coronavirus pandemic continues. The improving numbers are still far off from pre-pandemic numbers, according to CNBC.

“The labor market continues to improve, but unemployment remains a huge problem for the U.S. economy,” said Gus Faucher, chief economist at PNC Financial Services, according to CNBC. “The number of people filing for unemployment insurance, both regular and [Pandemic Unemployment Assistance] benefits, continues to steadily decline as layoffs abate. But job losses remain extremely elevated, far above their pre-pandemic level.”

President Donald Trump declared a national emergency in March as coronavirus spread rapidly around the world.

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