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Weekly U.S. jobless claims sink 37,000 to 404,000

Weekly U.S. jobless claims sink 37,000 to 404,000 (by Jeffry Bartash)

WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) - New claims for unemployment benefits fell by 37,000 last week to 404,000, reversing a sharp increase two weeks ago, the Labor Department reported Thursday. Economists polled by MarketWatch had expected initial claims in the week ended Jan. 15 to fall to a seasonally adjusted 420,000 from a revised 441,000 the week before. Continuing claims, which reflect the number of people already receiving unemployment compensation, dropped 26,000 to a seasonally adjusted 3.86 million in the week ended Jan. 8. About 9.61 million Americans were getting some kind of state or federal benefit in the week ended Jan. 1, up 401,237 from the prior week.