Jobless claims rise

WASHINGTON (AP) — The number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits rose for the first time in five weeks even though the economy and job market have been recovering briskly from the coronavirus pandemic. The Labor Department says jobless claims edged up to 353,000 last week from 349,000 the week before. The weekly count has fallen more or less steadily since topping 900,000 in early January as the rollout of COVID-19 vaccines has helped the economy — encouraging businesses to reopen or expand hours and luring consumers out of their homes to restaurants, bars and shops.