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Weekly jobless claims down 5,000 to 382,000

Weekly jobless claims down 5,000 to 382,000 (by Steve Goldstein)

WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) -- First-time claims for unemployment benefits in the week ending March 19 fell 5,000 to 382,000, the Labor Department said Thursday, with the four-week moving average of 385,250 reaching the lowest level since July 2008. The claims were very close to the MarketWatch-compiled economist estimates of 380,000, and last week's levels were revised higher by 2,000 to 387,000. Continuing claims in the week ending March 12 fell 2,000 to 3.72 million, the lowest level since Sept. 2008.