Jobless claims worse than expected as pandemic-related filings surge
First-time claims for unemployment insurance totaled 793,000 last week as declining Covid-19 cases provided little relief for the jobs market.
The total for the week ended Feb. 6 was above the 760,000 forecast from economists surveyed by Dow Jones but a slight decrease from the previous week’s upwardly revised total of 812,000.
The pandemic era has provided a long struggle for the jobs market to get back to its previous level. Nonfarm payrolls increased by just 49,000 in January, while the unemployment rate fell to 6.3% primarily due to a decline in the labor force.
Continuing claims, which run a week behind the weekly claims number, also declined, falling 145,000 to 4.54 million.
However, the total of those receiving benefits across all program jumped to 20.44 million, due to a surge in…