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U.S. Initial Jobless Claims Show Unexpected Decrease

A report released by the Labor Department on Thursday showed first-time claims for U.S. unemployment benefits unexpectedly decreased in the week ended January 11th.

The report said initial jobless claims fell to 204,000, a decrease of 10,000 from the previous week's unrevised level of 214,000. The drop came as a surprise to economists, who had expected jobless claims to inch up to 216,000.

The Labor Department said the less volatile four-week moving average also slid to 216,250, a decrease of 7,750 from the previous week's unrevised average of 224,000.

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