More than 700,000 unemployment claims filed nationally last week. Unemployment rate falls to 4.6%

The Department of Labor reports

In the week ending November 7, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 709,000, a decrease of 48,000 from the previous week’s revised level. The previous week’s level was revised up by 6,000 from 751,000 to 757,000. The 4-week moving average was 755,250, a decrease of 33,250 from the previous week’s revised average. The previous week’s average was revised up by 1,500 from 787,000 to 788,500.

The advance seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate was 4.6 percent for the week ending October 31, a decrease of 0.3 percentage point from the previous week’s revised rate. The previous week’s rate was revised down by 0.1 from 5.0 to 4.9 percent. The advance number for seasonally adjusted insured unemployment during the week ending October 31 was 6,786,000, a decrease of 436,000 from the previous week’s revised level. The previous week’s level was revised down by 63,000 from 7,285,000 to 7,222,000. The 4-week moving average was 7,575,750, a decrease of 653,000 from the previous week’s revised average. The previous week’s average was revised down by 15,750 from 8,244,500 to 8,228,750.

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Calculated Risk comments,

This does not include the 298,154 initial claims for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) that was down from 361,959 the previous week. (There are some questions on PUA numbers).

The Associated Press reports,

The number of people seeking U.S. unemployment benefits fell last week to 709,000, a still-high level but the lowest figure since March and a sign that the job market might be slowly healing.

The figures coincide with a sharp resurgence in confirmed viral infections to an all-time high above 120,000 a day. Cases are rising in 49 states, and deaths are increasing in 39. The nation has now recorded 240,000 virus-related deaths and 10.3 million confirmed infections.

As colder weather sets in and fear of the virus escalates, consumers may turn more cautious about traveling, shopping, dining out and visiting gyms, barber shops and retailers. Companies in many sectors could cut jobs or workers’ hours. In recent days, the virus’ resurgence has triggered tighter restrictions on businesses, mostly restaurants and bars, in a range of states, including Texas, New York, Maryland, and Oregon.

So, “slow healing” and concern as winter approaches.