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Jobless claims fall less than expected

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Jobless claims fall less than expected

But labor market is clearly firming up.

The Labor Department today reported that seasonally-adjusted initial claims for unemployment insurance for the week ended January 3 were 294,000, a decrease of 4,000 from the previous week's figure.

Analysts had expected a decrease to 290,000.

The 4-week moving average, which smoothes out volatility to a certain extent, increased 250 to 290,500.

The 4-week moving average has remained below 300,000 for 17 straight weeks, suggesting continued improvement in the labor markets.

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