787,000 unemployment claims filed nationally last week, unemployment rate drops to 5.7%

The U.S. Department of Labor reports 787,000 unemployments were filed last week.

In the week ending October 17, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 787,000, a decrease of 55,000 from the previous week’s revised level. The previous week’s level was revised down by 56,000 from 898,000 to 842,000. The 4-week moving average was 811,250, a decrease of 21,500 from the previous week’s revised average. The previous week’s average was revised down by 33,500 from 866,250 to 832,750.

The advance seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate was 5.7 percent for the week ending October 10, a decrease of 0.7 percentage point from the previous week’s revised rate. The previous week’s rate was revised down by 0.4 from 6.8 to 6.4 percent.

Here’s the trend. Still a very high plateau.

This week’s report comes without the California asterisk:

California has completed its pause in processing of initial claims and has resumed reporting actual unemployment insurance claims data based on their weekly claims activity. This News Release reflects actual counts for California for the current week and revisions to the two prior weeks. 

Calculated Risk writes,

 This does not include the 345,440 initial claims for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) that was up from 337,228 the previous week. (There are some questions on PUA numbers).

From the Associated Press report,

The number of laid-off Americans seeking unemployment benefits fell last week to 787,000, a sign that job losses may have eased slightly but are still running at historically high levels.

Last’s week’s figure was down from 842,000 the previous week, the Labor Department said Thursday. The government also revised down the number of people who sought aid in the two weeks before that. The total for the week that ended Oct. 3 was 767,000, the fewest since the viral pandemic erupted in March, though still more than three times the levels that preceded the pandemic.

Economists welcomed the declines as evidence that the job market is still recovering from the pandemic recession. But many cautioned that the improvement could prove short-lived. With confirmed infections having neared 60,000 in the past week, the most since July, many consumers have been unable or reluctant to shop, travel, dine out or congregate in crowds — a trend that has led some employers to keep cutting jobs. Several states are reporting a record number of hospitalizations from the virus.

So, persistent high unemployment and elevated uncertainty. Again.