Weekly initial jobless claims fell slightly to just over 1 million, down from 1.1 million, according to data from the Department of Labor, as companies continue to lay off workers even as parts of the economy show signs of rebound.
Recovery remains well out of reach and dependent on the health situation and policy response and the trend line remains volatile. Just two weeks ago initial claims had fallen to under 1 million, before jumping up again.
The current jobless claim level of 1,006,000 is markedly below spring’s peak of nearly 7 million, but still historically high. Before the coronavirus pandemic, the average number of claims was around 200,000 a week.
The jobless claims report hits on the final day of the Republican National Convention where President Donald Trump misleadingly claimed, “We just broke a record on jobs, an all-time record. There’s never been three months where we’ve put more people to work, over nine million people.”
But the outlook changes if you expand the narrow window of time Trump used out to the full picture. That return to work only comes after a loss of nearly 13 million jobs, the most in American history.