Mark Gilmore, an unemployed water treatment plant electrician came seeking information about his unemployment claim but found the California Employment Development Department office in Canoga Park, California closed on Thursday, August 6, 2020. Another 1.2 million U.S. workers have filed for new unemployment benefits, the Labor Department said in its weekly report Thursday. Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI | License Photo
Sept. 9 (UPI) -- New unemployment filings in the United States have plummeted to a little more than 300,000, again setting a new low for the COVID-19 era, the Labor Department said in its weekly jobless report Thursday.
Filings have steadily decreased in most weeks for the past few months. In its report, the department said there were 310,000 new unemployment claims last week -- a decrease of 35,000 from the week prior.
The figure is the lowest for any week since March 2020, when just over 250,000 new claims were filed.
"That is encouraging news for so many American families who have found a new opportunity and a little bit of breathing room as we continue to build back from last year's economic devastation," President Joe Biden said in a statement.
"Along with seven consecutive positive job reports that have seen us gain nearly 4.5 million jobs since my administration began, this decline in unemployment claims is further evidence of a durable economic recovery."
Most experts anticipated Thursday's report would show about 335,000 new claims.
The department also revised up the previous week's claims by 5,000 filings.
Thursday's update follows a lackluster August jobs report from the Labor Department a week ago, which showed an addition of 235,000 jobs for the month. Most economists expected the report to show about 700,000 new jobs.
The department said Wednesday that there were almost 11 million job openings in the United States at the end of July, when there were close to 9 million people looking for work.