Regular initial claims dropped by 30 claims and now sit at 625; Pandemic Unemployment Assistance and Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation initial claims also fell by more than 30 each.
It also comes amid a third surge in COVID-19 infections that has led the USA to report more than 100,000 cases on each of the past two days, raising concerns about renewed lockdowns like those that led to record unemployment in the spring.
The U.S. economy created the fewest jobs in five months in October and more Americans are working part time, the clearest evidence yet that the recovery from the pandemic recession was slowing as fiscal stimulus ends and new COVID-19 cases explode.
Retail traders added 104,000 jobs, professional and business services 208,000 and construction 84,000.
The US unemployment rate declined a full point to 6.9 per cent in October, the Labour Department said Friday, a greater-than-expected fall ahead of this week's presidential election which remains undecided.
Those issues were certainly on voters' minds when they went to polls this week to choose whether to give President Donald Trump a second term or replace him with challenger Joe Biden. And it would mean that the economy has regained only about 12 million of the 22 million jobs that vanished when the pandemic paralyzed the economy in early spring. Even if more fiscal stimulus is agreed on, it will likely be smaller than had been anticipated before the election.
Jerome Powell, chair of the Federal Reserve, warned Thursday that the pandemic could pose a worsening threat to the economy.
Powell acknowledged that the pandemic didn't harm the economy in the summer as much as many had feared it might, in large part because the multi-trillion aid package that Congress enacted provided "essential" support. The US central bank kept interest rates near zero on Thursday. That followed a record 31.4% pace of contraction in the April-June quarter. Many businesses, especially restaurants and bars that had made use of outdoor seating, face a dim future as the weather turns colder.
Even if state and local governments do not impose new restrictions on businesses, consumers are likely to stay away, fearing exposure to the respiratory illness. The United States set a one-day record for new coronavirus cases on Wednesday with at least 102,591 infections, according to a Reuters tally. Exxon Mobil last month announced 1,900 layoffs in the United States. Without this recurring mistake, the government estimated the jobless rate would have been about 7.2% in October.
All told, about 21.5 million people are receiving come kind of unemployment assistance, a decline of 1.1 million from the week before - but about 15 times higher than the same time previous year, before the Covid-19 took hold.
In terms of employment, 149.8m people are in work in the U.S., which is still down by more than 10m from before Covid swept the world, underlining the challenge facing the victor of the Presidential election.