U.S. Weekly Jobless Claims Increase Less Than Expected
The labor market outlook is improving amid declining new COVID-19 cases
The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits rose last week, likely boosted by brutal winter storms in the densely populated South in mid-February, though the labor market outlook is improving amid declining new COVID-19 cases.
Initial claims for state unemployment benefits totaled a seasonally adjusted 745,000 for the week ended Feb. 27, compared to 736,000 in the prior week, the Labor Department said on Thursday. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast 750,000 applications in the latest week.
Stormy weather in the South left large parts of Texas without power or water for days. The deep freeze shut oil production and refineries in Texas, the biggest producer of natural gas and oil in the United States.
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