New weekly jobless claims fell below 200,000 last week, their lowest level since the 1960s. Economists say the drop of 71,000 claims from the previous week makes the economic outlook seem slightly rosier than reality, as the number is adjusted for seasonal fluctuations, but that demand for workers remains strong. The jobs report from the Labor Department came alongside other mostly positive economic news leading into the holiday weekend. Household spending was up 1.3% in October from the previous month, and personal income increased by 0.5%, according to the Commerce Department.
- The adjusted number of new jobless claims was 199,000, the lowest number in a single week since Nov. 15, 1969.
- Continuing claims fell by 60,000 to 2.05 million, the lowest number since the start of the pandemic.
- The U.S. economy added 531,000 jobs in October, though there are still four million fewer jobs than there were in February 2020.
- Consumer demand was significant for electronics, apparel, and other goods leading into the holiday season, despite inflation and supply chain issues.
- Though the economic outlook appears largely positive, some economists worry that persistent inflation and a winter COVID-19 surge could hamper the gains.