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U.S. weekly jobless claims unexpectedly drops to 259,000

Staff Writer |
First-time claims for U.S. unemployment benefits unexpectedly edged lower in the week ended September 3rd, according to the Labor Department.

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The report said initial jobless claims dipped to 259,000, a decrease of 4,000 from the previous week's unrevised level of 263,000.

The modest drop in claims came as a surprise to economists, who had expected initial jobless claims to inch up to 264,000.

With the unexpected decrease, jobless claims fell to their lowest level since hitting 252,000 in the week ended July 16th.

The Labor Department said the less volatile four-week moving average also fell to 261,250, a decrease of 1,750 from the previous week's unrevised average of 263,000.

Continuing claims, a reading on the number of people receiving ongoing unemployment assistance, also dropped by 7,000 to 2.144 million in the week ended August 27th.

The four-week moving average of continuing claims edged down to 2,153,750, a decrease of 4,000 from the previous week's revised average of 2,157,750.

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