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Job Growth

Weekly Jobless Claims Rise Less than Expected

The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits rose less than expected last week and remained near its pre-recession levels, offering further evidence of the economy's underlying strength.Initial claims for state unemployment benefits ticked up 2,000 to a seasonally adjusted 304,000 for the week ended April 12, the Labor Department said on Thursday. They stayed close to a 6-1/2 year low touched the prior week.Claims for the week ended April 5 were revised to show 2,000 more applications received than previously reported.Economists polled by Reuters had forecast first-time applications for jobless benefits rising to 315,000.The four-week moving average for new claims, considered a better measure of underlying labor market conditions as it irons out week-to-week volatility, fell 4,750 to 312,000, the lowest level since October 2007.A Labor Department analyst said no states were estimated and there were no special factors influencing the state level data.The claims da...

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