Weekly jobless claims rose last week but rose less than expected as an economy struggled to shake off the effects of a pandemic that has been around for almost a year.

The Department of Labor first reported claims for unemployment insurance in the week ending February 27, which amounted to 745,000 after seasonal adjustment, a touch below the Dow Jones estimate of 750,000. The total was a slight increase from the previous week’s revised upward of 736,000.

Unusually harsh winter storms in Texas took a tool on the job, leading to an increase of 17,769 filings for the state, according to unmatched data. In Ohio and New York, too, the number of claims increased significantly.

Persistent claims continued to decline, falling 124,000 to just under 4.3 million, another low in the pandemic.

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