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U.S. Weekly Jobless Claims Unexpectedly Edge Down To 238,000


A report released by the Labor Department on Thursday showed a modest decrease in first-time claims for U.S. unemployment benefits in the week ended November 25th.

The report said initial jobless claims edged down to 238,000, a decrease of 2,000 from the previous week's revised level of 240,000.

Economists had expected jobless claims to inch up to 240,000 from the 239,000 originally reported for the previous week.

The Labor Department noted claims taking procedures continue to be disrupted in the Virgin Islands due to the impact of recent hurricanes.

Meanwhile, the report said the less volatile four-week moving average rose to 242,250, an increase of 2,250 from the previous week's revised average of 240,000.

Continuing claims, a reading on the number of people receiving ongoing unemployment assistance, also climbed by 42,000 to 1.957 million in the week ended November 18th.

The four-week moving average of continuing claims rose to 1,911,000, an increase of 18,250 from the previous week's revised average of 1,892,750.

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

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