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U.S. weekly jobless claims total 360,000, as expected

Initial claims for unemployment insurance fell to a new pandemic-era low last week, the Labor Department reported Thursday.

First-time filings for benefits totaled 360,000, in line with Dow Jones estimates and the best number since March 14, 2020.

The total represented a substantial decrease from the previous week’s upwardly revised 386,000.

Continuing claims, which run a week behind the headline number, also fell sharply, declining by 126,000 to 3.24 million. That also represented a new low for a jobs market that still has some distance to go before getting back to its pre-Covid 19 self but has made significant strides.

Markets reacted little to the claims news, with stock market futures pointing lower and government bond yields edging down following the release.

Those collecting benefits under all government programs also fell sharply, dropping by 449,642 to 14.2 million. That is well above anything seen before the pandemic, but is far below the 33.2 million on the rolls a year ago.

This is breaking news. Please check back here for updates.

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