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U.S. Weekly Jobless Claims Drop More Than Expected

Adding to the positive picture of the labor market painted by last week's monthly jobs report, the Labor Department released a report on Thursday showing a bigger than expected drop in first-time claims for U.S. unemployment benefits in the week ended January 5th.

The report said initial jobless claims fell to 216,000, a decrease of 17,000 from the previous week's revised level of 233,000. Economists had expected jobless claims to dip to 225,000 from the 231.000 originally reported for the previous week.

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