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Weekly U.S. jobless claims drop 42,000

Weekly U.S. jobless claims drop 42,000 (by Jeffry Bartash)

WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) - New applications for unemployment benefits fell last week by 42,000 to 415,000, reversing most of the increase from the prior week, according to Labor Department data. Economists polled by MarketWatch had expected initial claims in the week ended Jan. 29 to drop to a seasonally adjusted 418,000 from an upwardly revised 457,000 the week before. Continuing claims, which reflect the number of people already receiving unemployment compensation, declined 84,000 to a seasonally adjusted 3.93 million in the week ended Jan. 22. About 9.3 million Americans were getting some kind of state or federal benefit in the week ended Jan. 15, down 112,000 from the prior week.