Weekly jobless claims total 870,000, vs 850,000 expected

People line up at a food bank following the outbreak of coronavirus disease (COVID-19), New York, July 30, 2020.

Carlo Allegri | Reuters

The number of first-time filers for unemployment benefits were slightly higher than expected last week as the labor market continues its sluggish recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.

The Labor Department reported Thursday that initial jobless claims for the week ending Sept. 19 came in at 870,000. Economists polled by Dow Jones expected first-time claims to come in at 850,000, down slightly from the 860,000 claims reported for the previous week.

Continuing claims, which include those receiving unemployment benefits for at least two straight weeks, decreased by 167,000 to 12.58 million during the week ending Sept. 12. Continuing claims data is delayed by one week. 

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