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U.S. Initial Jobless Claims Unexpectedly Rise To 744,000

First-time claims for U.S. unemployment benefits unexpectedly increased in the week ended April 3rd, according to a report released by the Labor Department on Thursday.

The report said initial jobless claims edged up to 744,000, an increase of 16,000 from the previous week's revised level of 728,000.

Jobless claims rose for the second straight week after falling to a one-year low of 658,000 in the week ended March 20th.

The continued increase surprised economists, who had expected jobless claims to drop to 680,000 from the 719,000 originally reported for the previous month.

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