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U.S. Weekly Jobless Claims Unexpectedly Drop To 259,000


First-time claims for U.S. unemployment benefits unexpectedly decreased in the week ended September 16th, according to a report released by the Labor Department on Thursday.

The report said initial jobless claims fell to 259,000, a decrease of 23,000 from the previous week's revised level of 282,000.

The continued decrease surprised economists, who had expected jobless claims to climb to 300,000 from the 284,000 originally reported for the previous week.

With the unexpected decrease, jobless claims pulled back further off the two-year high of 298,000 set in the week ended September 2nd.

The jobless claims data has recently been impacted by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, which caused significant damage in Texas and Florida.

The Labor Department said the four-week moving average climbed to 268,750, an increase of 6,000 from the previous week's revised average of 262,750.

The increase lifted the less volatile four-week moving average to its highest level since reaching 269,500 in June of 2016.

Continuing claims, a reading on the number of people receiving ongoing unemployment assistance, jumped by 44,000 to 1.980 million in the week ended September 9th.

The four-week moving average of continuing claims also rose to 1,953,000, an increase of 6,500 from the previous week's revised average of 1,946,500.

by RTTNews Staff Writer

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