719,000 Americans file for first-time unemployment benefits

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The number of Americans filing for first-time unemployment benefits unexpectedly rose last week, according to the Labor Department.

Data released Thursday showed 719,000 Americans filed first-time jobless claims in the week ended March 27. Analysts surveyed by Refinitiv were expecting 680,000 filings. The prior week’s reading was revised down to 658,000 from 684,000. The increase comes a week after first-time filings fell to their lowest level since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Continuing claims for the week ended March 20, meanwhile, rose to 3.794 million, up from last week’s…

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