Jobless claims better than expected last week and lowest in two months


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

First-time 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 Covid-19 pandemic.

The total represented a drop of 33,000 from the previous week’s 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 pandemic-era peak for continuing claims…


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