Jobless claims dropped more than expected in the last week, showing continuing signs of improvement in the U.S. labor market.
According to the Labor Department, initial unemployment claims were at 326,000 last week, compared to 348,000 expected. Unemployment claims for the prior week were at 362,000.
Continuing claims were at 2,714,000, versus 2.765 million expected. Insured unemployment the week prior was at 2.802 million.
Prior to last week, initial claims were up for three weeks straight. Economists attributed this to rising coronavirus cases and disruption caused by Hurricane Ida.
While the U.S. labor market is showing signs of improvement, as the economy picks up and pandemic unemployment benefits expire, jobless claims are still above pre-pandemic levels.