Treasury yields fell on Thursday as the latest unemployment data showed the coronavirus pandemic continues to hammer the labor market.
New filings for unemployment claims totaled 2.981 million for the week ending May 9, according to Labor Department figures Thursday. Economists surveyed by Dow Jones had been expecting the latest count of new claims to be 2.7 million.
The new claims for unemployment insurance filed last week brought the coronavirus crisis total to nearly 36.5 million, by far the biggest loss in U.S. history.
Yields began their decline on Wednesday after Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell warned of "significant downside risks" from the coronavirus pandemic and suggested that the path ahead is "highly uncertain."
His comments came as several states began to reopen their economies despite warnings from health officials, including the government's top public health expert Dr. Anthony Fauci.
Data released Wednesday also showed U.S. producer prices dropped more sharply than expected in April, in another warning sign over the impact of pandemic-induced shutdowns on the economy.
Auctions will be held Thursday for $80 billion of 4-week Treasury bills and $70 billion of 8-week bills.