/With new Labor Department methodology, weekly unemployment claims fall to 881,000

With new Labor Department methodology, weekly unemployment claims fall to 881,000


The latest data on weekly unemployment claims looks different from past weeks.

Weekly unemployment claims fell to their lowest level since March, dipping to 881,000 last week, the Department of Labor said Thursday.

While the claims have been hovering at or above 1 million each week for months, the latest data looks different from past weeks.

The Department of Labor announced last week that it was changing the methodology used to seasonally adjust national initial unemployment claims. Seasonal adjustment is a statistical technique the Bureau of Labor Statistics uses in an attempt to remove the influence of predictable seasonal patterns — such as major holidays and back-to-school schedules — on the data. The changes come as the pandemic has upended nearly all predictable seasonal patterns.

Meanwhile, the total number of people continuing to claim unemployment benefits through all programs was more than 29 million in the week ending Aug. 15, the DOL said Thursday.

This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.

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