U.S. Jobless Claims Unexpectedly Decline Sign up for the New Economy Daily newsletter, follow us @economics and subscribe to our podcast . Applications for U.S. state unemployment benefits unexpectedly fell last week, illustrating still-solid labor demand despite the latest wave of coronavirus infections. Initial unemployment claims totaled 198,000 in the week ended Dec. 25, down 8,000 from the prior period’s revised level, Labor Department data showed Thursday. Economists had expected 206,000 applications, according to the median estimate in a Bloomberg survey. Continuing claims for state benefits fell to 1.72 million in the week ended Dec. 18, the lowest since March of last year. The S&P 500 rose on light volumes, while the yield on the 10-year Treasury note eased. Labor shortages across the economy have made businesses reluctant to reduce staffing as they struggle to meet robust demand for goods and services. That’s driven new unemployment claims to near […]