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US weekly jobless claims fall more than expected to 712,000, offering an encouraging sign of labor-market recovery

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The number of Americans filing for unemployment insurance fell by more than expected last week as the US labor market’s recovery showed signs of strength.

New US weekly jobless claims totaled an unadjusted 712,000 for the week that ended Saturday, the Labor Department announced Thursday. Economists surveyed by Bloomberg expected a reading of 775,000. The decline snapped a two-week streak of increases for initial unemployment filings.

Continuing claims, which track the aggregate total of Americans receiving unemployment benefits, dropped to 5.5 million for the week that ended November 21. That also came in below the consensus estimate.

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