First-time claims for jobless benefits were higher than expected last week, with 719,000 more workers heading to the unemployment line, the Labor Department reported Thursday.
The total compared with the 675,000 estimate from Dow Jones and was above last week’s downwardly revised 658,000.
While the number of weekly claims remains inordinately high by historical measures, the trend is falling now that the U.S. economy continues to reopen and nearly 3 million Americans are receiving vaccinations each day for Covid-19.
Continuing claims, which run a week behind the headline number, fell by 46,000 to just below 3.8 million.
“Taking the two weeks together it’s clear that the trend in claims is…