745,000 in U.S. file new unemployment claims; fewer than analysts expected

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March 4 (UPI) -- About 745,000 workers in the United States have filed new unemployment claims, the Labor Department said in its weekly report Thursday.

The report said the new filings, for last week, marked an increase of about 9,000 claims from the previous week. The department added that the national unemployment rate was 3% for last week.

Thursday's report also revised up the previous week's claims by 6,000.

The new claims were slightly fewer than most economists predicted (750,000).

There were about 4.3 million continuing jobless claims nationwide, the report said, which lag initial claims by a week.

Thursday's labor assessment came a day before the department releases its February jobs report. Most analysts expect the report to show about 150,000 jobs added for the month.

ADP and Moody's Analytics reported Wednesday that about 117,000 private-sector payrolls were added in February. The U.S. economy added 49,000 jobs in January.

The jobs report will reflect the first full month under President Joe Biden's administration. The president is encouraging lawmakers in the Senate to quickly pass his $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan, which includes billions for small businesses, extends federal unemployment payments and would send a $1,400 stimulus payment to Americans earning up to $75,000 per year.

The House passed the bill last weekend and it's now up to the Senate for approval. The Senate version, however, does not have a $15 per-hour minimum wage hike that was in the House version, meaning the lower chamber will have to revote on the package if it's approved in the Senate.

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