New filings for jobless claims in the U.S. totaled 787,000 last week, the lowest total since the early days of the coronavirus pandemic.

Economists surveyed by Dow Jones had been expecting 875,000 for the week ended Oct. 17.

The total reflected a decline of 55,000 from the downwardly revised 842,000 in the previous week. The last time the weekly claims total was lower was the 282,000 on March 14, just before an avalanche of layoffs that followed shutdown efforts to combatĀ the virus.

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