The number of Americans filing new unemployment claims decreased to 709,000 last week as the economy continued to suffer the effects of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, according to the Department of Labor.
The Bureau of Labor and Statistics figure released Thursday represented an decrease of new jobless claims compared to the week ending Oct. 31, in which there were 751,000 new jobless claims reported. New jobless claims have been below 800,000 for four consecutive weeks.
Economists expected Thursday’s jobless claims number to come in around 740,000, CNBC reported. New jobless claims fell below 1 million in the first week of August, which was the first time the weekly claims had fallen below 1 million since March.
“The state of the labor market is precarious,” Jobs for the Future president Maria Flynn told The Wall Street Journal. “We are at risk of backtracking given the surge of Covid cases in so many parts of the country.”
Average coronavirus cases and deaths per million have been increasing steadily in the U.S. since mid-October, according to The COVID Tracking Project and The Financial Times. Pharmaceutical company Pfizer announced Monday that its vaccine was over 90% effective in trials causing the stock market to rally, according to The New York Times.
“We are continuing to move in the right direction after a historic GDP report and a blockbuster jobs report,” Alfredo Ortiz, president and CEO of the Job Creators Network said in a statement Thursday. “President Trump’s pro-growth policies and commitment to safely reopen society are clearly paying dividends.”