retail news in context, analysis with attitude

From the Wall Street Journal this morning:

"New applications for unemployment benefits fell last week, a sign of improvement for the U.S. labor market.

"Weekly initial claims for jobless benefits fell by 55,000 to a seasonally adjusted 787,000 in the week ended Oct. 17, the Labor Department said Thursday. The number of people collecting unemployment benefits through regular state programs, which cover most workers, decreased by 1 million to about 8.4 for the week ended Oct. 10 … New applications for unemployment applications and payments still remain above pre-pandemic peaks but are down significantly from this spring, when the coronavirus pandemic and related shutdowns caused both measures to rise to the highest levels on record back to the 1960s."