U.S. Jobless Claims Fall By 19,000

Following a dramatic and unexpected increase, initial claims for U.S. unemployment insurance dropped significantly last week.

For the week ending April 2, the seasonally adjusted figure for jobless claims was 334,000, a decrease of 19,000 from the previous week's revised figure of 353,000, the U.S. Labor Department reported on April 7. Economists generally had expected a steeper drop, to about 320,000 claims.

The department's four-week moving average of initial claims, often regarded as a better indicator of underlying labor market conditions because it smooths out week-to-week changes, fell less dramatically last week. The moving average was 336,500, some 250 claims fewer than the previous week's revised average of 336,750.

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