The number of people in US who filed unemployment claims for first time last week was 860,000, according to data released Thursday by the Labor Department. 

While the market expectation was 850,000 for the week ending Sept. 12, the previous week’s figure was revised up 9,000 from 884,000 to 893,000, the department said.

The latest figure provides optimism for the labor market recovery as it is the lowest since the coronavirus pandemic started causing lockdowns in March and crippled economic activity.

The US added 1.4 million jobs in August, with the unemployment rate falling to 8.4% after the world’s largest economy contracted 31.7% in the second quarter — its largest on record.

As the 2020 US presidential election looms, the economy will be the top deciding factor at polls Nov. 3 with 79% of registered voters considering it “very important,” according to a study by the Pew Research Center. Health care is second at 68%.

US President Donald Trump said Thursday he will substantially lower premiums for Medicare, the country’s national health insurance program.

“Have instituted Favored Nations Clause and Rebates on Drug Companies. Never been done before. Drug companies are hitting me with Fake Ads, just like sleepy Joe. Be careful! Drug prices will be reduced massively, and soon,” Trump said on Twitter. “Democrats only want BAILOUT MONEY for Blue States that are doing badly. They don’t care about the people, never did!.”

While Democrats request a substantially larger relief bill, around $3 trillion to help the economic recovery through employment and consumer spending, Republicans have reduced their most recent number to around $500 billion from the previous $1 trillion, but talks between the two parties have stalled.

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