Initial Jobless Claims Drop

They decreased by 20,000 last week.

First-time claims for unemployment insurance in the U.S. fell to a seasonally adjusted figure of 304,000 in the week ending Dec. 9, a decline of 20,000 claims from the previous week's 324,000, the U.S. Labor Department reported on Dec. 14.

The department's four-week moving average of initial claims, generally considered a better indicator of underlying labor market conditions because it smooths out week-to-week changes, also fell last week. The average was 327,250, a decline of 1,500 claims from the previous week's figure of 328,750.

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