/Weekly jobless claims:

Weekly jobless claims:

Jobless claims fell sharply last week despite brutal winter storms that swept across Texas and other parts of the South, the Labor Department reported Thursday.

First-time filings for unemployment insurance totaled 730,000 for the week ended Feb. 20, well below the Dow Jones estimate of 845,000.

That total represented a substantial decrease from the 841,000 the previous week, a number that was revised lower by 20,000.

Despite the decline, the total, the lowest since Nov. 28, still was well above anything the U.S. labor market had seen prior to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Continuing claims also fell, decreasing 101,000 to 4.42 million, the lowest since March 21, 2020, but also still well above anything the labor market had seen prior to the pandemic.

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