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Weekly Jobless Claims Fall to 304,000, Close to Seven-Year Low

Initial jobless claims fell to near a seven-year low last week in a sign of continued improvement in the labor market.

About 304,000 people filed for first-time unemployment benefits in the week ended Saturday, down 11,000 from the previous week, the Labor Department said Thursday.

It was the fewest new claims since the week ended May 24 and near the post-Great Recession low of 298,000 reached two weeks before that. That is the lowest since 2007.

Last week’s drop was larger than anticipated by economists, who had expected claims to hold steady at 315,000.

The four-week average, which smooths out some of the volatility in the claims figures, dropped by 3,500 to 311,500. That also was near a seven-year low.



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