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U.S. initial jobless claims drop more than forecast

Staff Writer |
The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits fell more than expected last week, according to data released by the Labor Department.

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Jobless claims declined by 18,000 from the previous week's revised level to 214,000, marking the lowest level since May and beating expectations for a smaller drop to 225,000. The previous week's level was revised up by 1,000.

Meanwhile, the four-week moving average came in at 223,000, down 1,750 from the previous week's average, which was revised up by 250 to 224,750.

The four-week average is considered more reliable as it smooths out sharp fluctuations in the more volatile weekly figures, giving a more accurate picture of the health of the labour market.

Continuing claims - which represent the number of people already collecting unemployment benefits - fell to 1.739m from a revised 1.742m, versus expectations for a level of 1.720.

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