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U.S. Weekly Jobless Claims Drop More Than Expected

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First-time claims for U.S. unemployment benefits declined by more than anticipated in the week ended July 4th, according to a report released by the Labor Department on Thursday.

The report said initial jobless claims tumbled to 1.314 million, a decrease of 99,000 from the previous week's revised level of 1.413 million.

Economists had expected jobless claims to slump to 1.375 million from the 1.427 million originally reported for the previous week.

The Labor Department said the less volatile four-week moving average also fell to 1,437,250, a decrease of 63,000 from the previous week's revised average of 1,500,250.

Continuing claims, a reading on the number of people receiving ongoing unemployment assistance, also plunged by 698,000 to 18.062 million in the week ended June 27th.

The four-week moving average of continuing claims dropped to 19,085,500, a decrease of 636,000 from the previous week's revised average of 19,721,500.

Last Thursday, the Labor Department released a separate report showing another record spike in employment in the month of June.

The report said non-farm payroll employment skyrocketed by 4.8 million jobs in June after soaring by an upwardly revised 2.7 million jobs in May.

Economists had expected employment to surge up by about 3.0 million jobs compared to the spike of 2.5 million jobs originally reported for the previous month.

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