US initial claims for jobless benefits fell by 75,000 in the week ended Nov. 28 to a total of 712,000, according to seasonally adjusted data released today by the US Department of Labor. Initial claims were at their lowest level since the start of the Covid-19 crisis in March.
However, CNBC cited a note from Ian Shepherdson, chief economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics, that initial claims will likely rise again in the next week. Trend watchers had been expecting a decline in the week ending Nov. 28 because of the difficulty in adjusting for the Thanksgiving holiday.
In addition, the number of initial jobless claims under the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program — which includes self-employed and gig economy workers, among others — fell by 30,154 in the week ended Nov. 28. Total initial claims in this program were 288,701. Data for claims in this program was not seasonally adjusted.