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U.S. Weekly Jobless Unexpectedly Drop To Nearly Three-Month Low

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In an upbeat sign for the labor market, the Labor Department released a report on Thursday showing another unexpected drop in first-time claims for U.S. unemployment benefits in the week ended May 13th.

The report said initial jobless claims edged down to 232,000, a decrease of 4,000 from the previous week's unrevised level of 236,000. Economists had expected jobless claims to rise to 240,000.

With the unexpected decrease, jobless claims fell to their lowest level since hitting 227,000 in the week ended February 25th.

The Labor Department said the less volatile four-week moving average also fell to 240,750, a decrease of 2,750 from the previous week's unrevised average of 243,500.

Additionally, the report said continuing claims dropped by 22,000 to 1.898 million in the week ended May 6th.

Continuing claims, a reading on the number of people receiving ongoing unemployment assistance, slid to their lowest level since November of 1988.

The four-week moving average of continuing claims fell to a more than four-decade low of 1.946 million from the previous week's revised average 1.966 million.

by RTT Staff Writer

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