New jobless claims are reported every week and are a leading economic indicator. This week they fell to 963,000 under a million for the first time in months. Last week, it was 1.19 million and the expectation for this week was for it to be 1.08 million. This is a good report and a sign of our continuing recovery. Still, before COVID we were in the low 200,000 numbers.
Another good sign is that continuing claims fell from 31.3 million to 28.3 million. This is a count of the total number of people collecting unemployment benefits. It is a combination of new claims added minus those that dropped off so a significant number of people dropped off and that too is a very good sign that the economy is recovering.
However, though the recovery is underway the U.S. economy is far from healthy. The GDP numbers tell us that and for the year we will have shrunk year over year even if we were fully recovered today. The damage in the second quarter was severe and the third quarter will show a surge but not to pre-COVID levels.