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Jobless claims surge to highest weekly total since August

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First-time claims for unemployment insurance jumped to 965,000 last week amid signs of a slowdown in hiring due to pandemic restrictions, the Labor Department reported Thursday.The total was worse than Wall Street estimates of 800,000 and above the previous week’s total of 784,000.Markets reacted little to the number, as the decline in economic activity is expected to be met with more stimulus from Washington. President-elect Joe Biden later Thursday is announcing his hopes for another package likely in excess of $1 trillion.Futures prices continued to indicate fractional opening gains on Wall Street.Still, the jobless number for the week ended Jan. 9 …

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