Jobless claims fall, but still above 400,000

Reuters

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - New claims for unemployment benefits fell last week, the Labor Department said on Thursday, though the previous week's figures were revised higher.

Weekly claims dipped to 405,000 from 427,000 in the week ending July 9, having remained above 400,000 for 14 straight weeks. Economists polled by Reuters had been looking for a smaller decline to 415,000.

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The number of Americans still receiving benefits after an initial week rose slightly in the week ended July 2 to 3.73 million. Including workers receiving emergency benefits, there are 7.48 million individuals on the jobless rolls.

The figures on benefit applications come on the heels of a dismal monthly employment report last week that showed job growth essentially stalled in May and June.

The weekly moving average of claims, which smoothes out volatility in the data, dipped to 423,250 from 427,000.

(Reporting by Pedro Nicolaci da Costa; Editing by Padraic Cassidy)

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