The number of Americans filing new unemployment claims decreased to 860,000 last week as the economy continues to suffer the effects of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, according to the Department of Labor.

The Department of Labor figure released Thursday represented an decrease of new jobless claims compared to the week ending on Sept. 5, in which there were 884,000 new jobless claims reported.

Economists surveyed by Dow Jones expected Thursday’s jobless claims number to come in around 875,000. New jobless claims fell below 1 million in the first week of August, marking the first time the weekly claims were below 1 million since March.

“Don’t be fooled by seasonally adjusted first-time jobless claims remaining below 1 million for the second consecutive week,” Chris Rupkey, chief financial economist for MUFG Union Bank, said in a note Sept. 11, according to Yahoo Finance.

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Jobless claims hovered around 200,000 per week before the pandemic, according to WSJ. President Donald Trump declared a national emergency in March as coronavirus spread rapidly around the world. The U.S. added 1.4 million jobs in August, while unemployment fell to 8.4%, according to the Department of Labor data released Sept. 4.

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said Wednesday that interest rates will be kept low for “some time,” according to CNBC. He added that the economy is recovering at a pace faster than expected.

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Meanwhile, Capitol Hill negotiations on a second coronavirus stimulus package have stalled, but House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Tuesday she wanted the House to stay in session until a deal was reached while President Donald Trump urged Republicans to reach a deal Wednesday.

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The largest increases in initial claims for the week ending September 5 were in California (+23,841), Texas (+8,618), Louisiana (+8,375), New Jersey (+2,402), and Washington (+2,173), while the largest decreases were in Kentucky (-7,219), Florida (-5,334), Pennsylvania (-2,257), Kansas (-1,915), and Michigan (-994), according to Breitbart.

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