U.S. Weekly Jobless Claims Fall More Than Expected
Fewer Americans are filing new unemployment benefits claims
Fewer Americans filed new claims for unemployment benefits last week amid falling COVID-19 infections, but the near-term outlook for the labor market is unclear after winter storms wreaked havoc in the South region in the middle of this month.
Initial claims for state unemployment benefits totaled a seasonally adjusted 730,000 for the week ended Feb. 20, compared to 841,000 in the prior week, the Labor Department said on Thursday. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast 838,000 applications in the latest week.
Claims have been out of sync with an improvement in overall economic conditions as the winter coronavirus wave recedes and $900 billion in additional pandemic relief money provided by the government at the end of December flows through the economy.
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