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First-Time Claims for Unemployment Insurance Increase to 744,000, Higher Than Expected

WASHINGTON, D.C. — A total of 744,000 Americans filed for first time unemployment assistance for the week that ended April 3, the U.S. Department of Labor reported Thursday. The amount of initial jobless claims was higher than the 694,000 figure that economists surveyed by Dow Jones predicted and is an increase of 16,000 from last week’s revised total of 728,000. Last week, the original number of first time unemployment claims were a total of 719,000. Continuing claims, for which data lags a week, decreased by 105,750 to a little more than 3.86 million.

Last month, the economy appeared to be healing. In March, the U.S. unemployment rate fell to 6 percent and nonfarm payrolls increased by 916,000, which was the biggest job gain since August 2020. However, the unemployment rate remains substantially higher than the pre-pandemic low of 3.5 percent.

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