The number of people filing for unemployment benefits for the first time unexpectedly fell last week, marking its second straight decline.
Initial jobless claims declined by 19,000 to 787,000 in the week ended Dec. 26, the Labor Department said Thursday. Economists polled by Dow Jones expected initial jobless claims to rise to 828,000. The previous week’s total for initial claims was upwardly revised by 3,000 to 806,000.
Continuing claims, which include those who have received unemployment benefits for at least two straight weeks, fell by 103,000 to 5.219 million for the week of Dec. 19. Data on continuing claims runs on a one-week lag to the initial claims numbers.
The number of people…