First-time claims for unemployment insurance were little changed over the past week, indicating the heightened pace of layoffs during the pandemic may have hit a plateau, the Labor Department reported Thursday.
Initial filings for the week ended Nov. 13, totaled 268,000, a decline of 1,000 from a week ago and slightly higher than the Dow Jones estimate for 260,000.
The total was the lowest since the beginning of the pandemic but in close keeping with where claims have been over the past month.
The four-week moving average, which smooths out weekly volatility, declined to 272,750, just a bit above the total for the most recent weekly count.
Continuing claims, which run a week behind the…