Fewer than 1 million initial UI claims filed nationally last week, a pandemic-era low.

Initial weekly UI claims have fallen below 1 million nationally for the first time in months, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

In the week ending August 8, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 963,000, a decrease of 228,000 from the previous week’s revised level. The previous week’s level was revised up by 5,000 from 1,186,000 to 1,191,000. The 4-week moving average was 1,252,750, a decrease of 86,250 from the previous week’s revised average. The previous week’s average was revised up by 1,250 from 1,337,750 to 1,339,000.

The advance seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate was 10.6 percent for the week ending August 1, a decrease of 0.4 percentage point from the previous week’s unrevised rate.

This DOL graph shows the trend.

Calculated Risk points out,

There are an additional 10,723,396 receiving Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA). This is a special program for business owners, self-employed, independent contractors or gig workers not receiving other unemployment insurance.

The Associated Press reports,

The number of Americans applying for unemployment dropped below 1 million last week for the first time since the coronavirus outbreak took hold in the U.S. five months ago, but layoffs are still running extraordinarily high…

“Another larger-than-expected decline in jobless claims suggests that the jobs recovery is regaining some momentum, but … much labor market progress remains to be done,” said Lydia Boussour, senior economist at Oxford Economics.

As always, the course of the pandemic will determine the pace of the jobs recovery.