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The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits came in below expectations last week. On Thursday, the Labor Department reported that jobless claims total 385,000 for the week ending May 29. Economists polled by Dow Jones expected jobless claims to total 390,000. This is the first time jobless claims have been recorded below 400,000 since the start of the pandemic.

Markets were relatively flat following the news.

“Claims remain elevated by normal standards, but the downward trend has been relentless in recent months, and a return to the pre-Covid level over the summer seems a decent bet,” said Ian Shepherdson, chief economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics.

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