First-time claims by the newly jobless for unemployment insurance sank 37,000 last week to 391,000, the lowest level since April and the first time since August that claims have fallen below 400,000, a number economists say is crucial to show hiring has begun to pick up.
Economists had forecast claims would drop just 3,000, the WSJ reports. This signifies that for at least one week, fewer companies were laying off workers—or at least, that’s one such interpretation.
According to the WSJ, “technical issues” might be behind the precipitous drop, in which case we should expect to see claims surge again next week.
Meanwhile, for the week ended Sept. 10, 6.9 million Americans, or almost 100,000 more than the prior week, were receiving some form of unemployment compensation.