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U.S. Weekly Jobless Claims Pull Back Further Off Two-Year High

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Following the pullback seen in the previous week, first-time claims for U.S. unemployment benefits showed a continued decrease in the week ended December 21st, the Labor Department revealed in a report on Thursday.

The Labor Department said initial jobless claims fell to 222,000, a decrease of 13,000 from the previous week's revised level of 235,000.

Economists had expected jobless claims to drop to 224,000 from the 234,000 originally reported for the previous week.

Jobless claims fell for the second straight week after reaching their highest level since September of 2017 in the week ended December 7th.

Meanwhile, the report said the less volatile four-week moving average rose to 228,000, an increase of 2,250 from the previous week's revised average of 225,750.

The Labor Department said continuing claims, a reading on the number of people receiving ongoing unemployment assistance, fell by 6,000 to 1.719 million in the week ended December 14th.

The four-week moving average of continuing claims still climbed to 1,703,500, an increase of 19,250 from the previous week's revised average of 1,684,250.

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