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U.S. Weekly Jobless Claims Unexpectedly Drop To 209,000

First-time claims for U.S. unemployment benefits unexpectedly fell in the week ended July 6th, according to a report released by the Labor Department on Thursday.

The report said initial jobless claims dropped to 209,000, a decrease of 13,000 from the previous week's revised level of 222,000.

Economists had expected jobless claims to inch up to 223,000 from the 221,000 originally reported for the previous week.

The Labor Department said the less volatile four-week moving average also slipped to 219,250, a decrease of 3,250 from the previous week's revised average of 222,500.

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