These are the jobless claims numbers that the Labor Department reported on February 25, 2021.

The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits came in below expectations. On Thursday, the Labor Department reported that jobless claims totaled 730,000 for the week ending February 20. Economists polled by Dow Jones expected jobless claims to total 845,000. This figure is a significant decrease from last week's value of 841,000.

Continuing claims, the number of individuals receiving unemployment benefits for consecutive weeks, fell by 101,000 to 4.42 million. Markets sold off heavily following the news amid inflation concerns and rising bond yields.

Around 19 million Americans are still receiving benefits across all programs, increasing by 700,000 in the past week.

“The sharp drop in jobless claims likely is due to people in states hit hardest by last week’s huge storm, especially Texas, having better things to do than make jobless claims,” wrote Ian Shepherdson, chief economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics. “We expect a rebound next week. The trend seems to be about flat, but we remain of the view that claims will soon start to trend down, slowly at first but then more quickly as the reopening of the economy accelerates in April and May.”

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Economics, Finance and Investing