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US Weekly Jobless Claims Fall More Than Expected

February 25, 2021

WASHINGTON—Fewer Americans filed new claims for unemployment benefits last week amid falling COVID-19 infections, but the near-term outlook for the labor market is unclear after winter storms wreaked havoc in the South region in the middle of this month. Initial claims for state unemployment benefits totaled a seasonally adjusted 730,000 for the week ended Feb. 20, compared to 841,000 in the prior week, the Labor Department said on Thursday. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast 838,000 applications in the latest week. Claims have been out of sync with an improvement in overall economic conditions as the winter coronavirus wave recedes and $900 billion in additional pandemic relief money provided by the government at the end of December flows through the economy. Daily coronavirus cases and hospitalizations have dropped to levels last seen before the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays, allowing more services businesses to reopen. Retail sales increased by the most … Read More

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