Jobless claims totaled 1.48 million last week as unemployment related to the coronavirus pandemic remained stubbornly high, though those receiving benefits fell below 20 million for the first time in two months, the government reported Thursday.
Economists surveyed by Dow Jones had been expecting 1.35 million claims.
While the weekly numbers remained high and were worse than Wall Street estimates for the second straight week, the total of those receiving benefits continued to fall: Continuing claims fell by 767,000 to 19.52 million.
“Initial and continuing claims point to gradual improvement in the labor market. Falling initial claims signal that the pace of layoffs is slowing, but it still…