The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits came in above expectations last week. On Thursday, the Labor Department reported that jobless claims totaling 744,000 for the week ending April 3. Economists polled by Dow Jones expected jobless claims to total 694,000. This figure is a slight increase from last week's value of 728,000.
Continuing claims, the number of individuals receiving unemployment benefits for consecutive weeks, fell by 16,000 to 3.73 million. Markets didn't react to the report as the S&P 500 climbed to a new high early in the session.
Economists predict that filing backlogs could be driving claims higher in recent weeks, combined with rising cases of COVID-19.