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U.S. Weekly Jobless Claims Fall 10,000 To 277,000

Editor’s note: Updating earlier story with more details from report.

(Kitco News) – First-time weekly jobless claims in the U.S. fell by 10,000 to a seasonally adjusted 277,000 during the week to Saturday, the Labor Department said Thursday.

Consensus expectations compiled by various news organizations called for initial claims to be around 272,000 to 275,000.

The government left the prior week’s tally at the previously reported 287,000.

Meanwhile, the four-week moving average for new claims – often viewed as a more reliable measure of the labor market since it smoothens out week-to-week volatility – was down by 1,250 claims to 275,750.

There were no special factors impacting this week’s initial claims, the Labor Department said.

Continuing jobless claims, the number of people already receiving benefits and reported with a one-week delay, increased by 25,000 to a seasonally adjusted 2.23 million during the week ending Dec. 26, the government said. The four-week moving average fell by 4,000 to  2.218 million.

Traders monitor jobs data closely to gauge how aggressively the U.S. Federal Open Market Committee alters monetary policy.

By Allen Sykora of Kitco News;