The number of weekly jobless claims fell to the lowest levels in 52 years, according to the latest data from the Department of Labor. There were 199,000 new jobless claims filed last week. The last time the number was that low was in November of 1969, when they totaled 197,000.
The sudden drop was well below the estimated 260,000 and a significant reduction from the 270,000 new claims filed the week prior.
The number of continuing claims are nearing pre-pandemic lows after dropping by 60,000 to 2.05 million.
Overall, 2.43 million people are receiving some form of government jobless benefits as of November 6. That is down by 752,360, according to CNBC.
"It is fair to say that we didn't see that coming," Mark Hamrick, senior economic analyst at Bankrate, wrote in an email, according to Yahoo! News. "Getting new claims below the 200,000 level for the first time since the pandemic began is truly significant, portraying further improvement."
"Americans head into the heart of the holiday season with a reasonable expectation that an already tight job market will continue to tighten in the months ahead," he added. "Retail sales have recently surprised to the upside, and that momentum should continue."