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U.S. Weekly Jobless Claims Unexpectedly Dip To Two-Month Low

The Labor Department released a report on Thursday showing an unexpected decrease by first-time claims for U.S. unemployment benefits in the week ended April 20th.

The report said initial jobless claims fell to 207,000, a decrease of 5,000 from the previous week’s unrevised level of 212,000. The dip surprised economists, who had expected jobless claims to inch up to 214,000.

With the unexpected decline, jobless claims dropped to their lowest level since hitting 200,000 in the week ended February 17th.

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The Labor Department said the less volatile four-week moving average also edged down to 213,250, a decrease of 1,250 from the previous week’s unrevised average of 214,500.

Continuing claims, a reading on the number of people receiving ongoing unemployment assistance, also slid by 15,000 to 1.781 million in the week ended April 13th.

The four-week moving average of continuing claims also fell to 1,794,000, a decrease of 7,250 from the previous week’s revised average of 1,801,250.

Next Friday, the Labor Department is scheduled to release its more closely watched report on employment in the month of April.

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