A decrease in the number of Americans receiving unemployment benefits in data to be released Thursday morning would offer another sign that the labor market is starting to mend.

The ranks of Americans drawing on unemployment benefits ticked up to 21.5 million in the week ended May 23, though the pace of increase significantly slowed from earlier in the coronavirus pandemic, the Labor Department said last week. So-called continuing claims are released with a one-week lag, and new data are slated to publish Thursday morning.

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