WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - US weekly jobless claims fell 4 percent last week, registering their third weekly decline even as the labor market and economy continued to struggle from the coronavirus pandemic, Labor Department data showed on Thursday.
"In the week ending 30 January, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 779,000", the department said in a news release. It revised up claims in the prior week to January 16 to 812,000, from a previously published 847,000. That brought the latest week’s claims down by 33,000, or 4 percent.
Claims fell 7 percent and 3 percent back-to-back in the prior two weeks.
Economists polled by US media had forecast 830,000 claims for last week.
Continuing weekly claims, reported with a one-week lag but sometimes considered a better gauge of the labor market, slid to 4.59 million for the week ended January 30 from a previous 4.79 million. The unemployment rate, meanwhile, slid to 3.2 percent from the 3.4 percent reported for the week to January 23.
The United States lost more than 21 million jobs between March and April, at the height of business lockdowns forced by the coronavirus. A rebound of 2.5 million jobs was logged in May and 4.8 million in June, before the recovery began slowing. For both September and October, less than 700,000 jobs were added each month. In November, there were just 245,000 additions, while December saw a loss of 140,000 jobs — the first such decline since April. January’s data will be published on Friday.