U.S. Jobless Claims Decline Modestly

Americans continued to file for jobless claims in large numbers as the ongoing surge of COVID cases added to America’s unemployment problem last week.

Figures released Thursday morning by the U.S. Labor Department revealed claims totaled 900,000 for the week ended Jan. 16, or slightly less than the Dow Jones estimate of 925,000 and below the previous week’s downwardly revised total of 926,000.

Markets shaved some arlier gains following the data and amid continued anticipation that President Joe Biden and Congress will soon deliver another large fiscal infusion to help the economy through the pandemic. Stock futures pointed to a modest gain on Wall Street.

The department added continuing claims showed a slight decrease for the week, falling by 127,000 to 5.05 million.