Weekly jobless claims rise by 712,000 ahead of $1.9 trillion Covid relief bill


Weekly jobless claims rose less than expected last week, but remained above pre-pandemic levels, as the U.S. economy tried to shake off impacts from Covid-19 and employers waited to see if President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion stimulus would become law.

The Labor Department on Thursday reported that first-time filings for unemployment insurance in the week ended March 6 totaled a seasonally adjusted 712,000, below the Dow Jones estimate of 725,000.

Filings for state jobless aid, seen as a proxy for layoffs, have slowed in recent weeks but remain firmly above pre-pandemic levels. The four-week moving average, which smooths out fluctuations in weekly numbers, was 759,000.

The pre-Covid record…


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