In the past, companies have been able to take advantage of an unemployment insurance program that helps to pay the bills.
But the number of jobless Americans has declined, and many companies now have to cut jobs, too.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Thursday that the unemployment rate for people who lost their jobs in September dropped to 7.9% from 8.3% a month earlier.
The number of unemployed workers also fell from 6.7 million in September to 6.6 million in October.
That’s the lowest level since November 2007.
The decline is a sign that the economy is beginning to rebound from the Great Recession, but it comes amid signs that the job market is still fragile.
The unemployment rate rose to 6% for the first time in March.
About a third of Americans who lost a job were unemployed in October, the lowest rate since January.
The labor market has been improving in recent months, with a solid increase in the unemployment rates for young people and the labor force participation rate for older workers.
But overall job creation has been lagging behind.
About 8.1 million people are actively looking for work, down from 9.5 million in the same month a year ago.
The jobless rate is currently about half of the rate that it was during the Great Depression.
A number of companies, including the airlines Delta and United, are cutting jobs in anticipation of a more robust economy.
“In many cases, the decline in the number and percentage of unemployed is not as pronounced as it was a year or two ago,” said Kevin Cate, an economist at the University of Michigan.
“Companies have had to cut costs and cut people.
But if you don’t have a plan, you are going to have some people leave the market.”
The unemployment number fell to 8.2% in October from 8% a year earlier.
About 6.2 million people had been unemployed for more than six months, a decline from the previous month, according to the BLS.
That was a drop from the 7.4 million people who were unemployed for that time period in October 2015.