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U.S. weekly jobless claims fall 9,000 to 397,000

U.S. weekly jobless claims fall 9,000 to 397,000 (by Jeffry Bartash)

WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) - New applications for jobless benefits fell by 9,000 last week to 397,000, the Labor Department reported on Thursday. Economists surveyed by MarketWatch had expected new claims in the week ended Oct. 29 to fall to 400,000, on a seasonally adjusted basis. Initial claims from two weeks ago were revised up to 406,000 from an original reading of 402,000. The average of new claims over the past four weeks, seen as a more accurate gauge of labor trends, fell by 2,000 to 404,500. The number of Americans who continue to receive regular state unemployment checks, meanwhile, declined by 10,500 to 3.70 million in the week ended Oct 22. Continuing claims are reported with a one-week lag. About 6.78 million people received some kind of state or federal benefit in the week ended Oct. 15, up 103,117 from the prior week. Total claims are reported with a two-week lag.