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U.S. Weekly Jobless Claims Drop To 204,000

First-time claims for U.S. unemployment benefits dropped by much more than expected in the week ended September 7th, according to a report released by the Labor Department on Thursday.

The report said initial jobless claims fell to 204,000, a decrease of 15,000 from the previous week's revised level of 219,000.

Economists had expected jobless claims to edge down to 215,000 from the 217,000 originally reported for the previous week.

The Labor Department said the less volatile four-week moving average also dipped to 212,500, a decrease of 4,250 from the previous week's revised average of 216,750.

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