Weekly jobless claims: Jobs picture continues improvement


The U.S. jobs market edged closer to its pre-pandemic self last week as initial jobless claims totaled just 406,000 for the week ended May 22, the Labor Department reported Thursday.

While that level is still well above the norm before Covid-19 struck in March 2020, it is the closest to the previous trend since the crisis began and a decline from the previous week’s 444,000.

In a separate report, the Commerce Department left its initial estimate on first-quarter gross domestic product unchanged at 6.4%. Also, orders for long-last goods unexpectedly declined by 1.3%, against the forecast for a 0.9% gain. However, excluding transportation, orders rose 1%.

Economists surveyed by Dow Jones had…


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