Jobless Claims Better than Expected Last Week

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KEY POINTS

New jobless claims totaled 779,000 last week, the lowest since late November.
That was below the Dow Jones estimate for 830,000 and a decline of 33,000 from the previous week.
The total of those receiving benefits fell sharply to a stillelevated 17.8 million.

New claims for jobless benefits came in a bit less than expected last week though U.S. employment gains remain sluggish.

Firsttime claims for unemployment insurance totaled 779,000 for the week ended Jan. 30, the Labor Department reported Thursday. That was below the 830,000 estimate from economists surveyed by Dow Jones.

The reading was the lowest since Nov. 28 as the U.S. economy continues its slow recovery from the Covid19 pandemic.

The total represented a drop of 33,000 from the previous weeks downwardly revised count of 812,000.

Continuing claims also continued to drift lower, falling 193,000 from the previous reporting week to 4.6 million. The pandemicera peak for continuing claims was 24.9 million in early May. Continuing claims data runs a week behind firsttime claims.

In addition, the total of those receiving benefits fell sharply, dropping by nearly half a million to 17.8 million. That reflects a continuing decline of those getting benefits under pandemicrelated programs that were slightly offset by those on extended benefits.

With unemployment still elevated, the Biden administration is working on a plan to push through additional stimulus checks to Americans as well as enhanced…

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