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Weekly jobless claims fall to lowest level since 1973

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Weekly jobless claims fall to lowest level since 1973

Weekly claims figure of 255,000 beats analysts’ expectations soundly.

The Labor Department today reported that seasonally-adjusted initial claims for unemployment insurance for the week ended July 18 were 255,000, a decrease of 26,000 from the previous week's figure.  

Analysts had expected an increase to 285,000.

The 4-week moving average, which smoothes out volatility to a certain extent, decreased 4,000 to 278,500.

While the drop in weekly claims was stark, its significance should not be overstated given the typically volatile summer employment environment.  However, claims have now remained under the 300,000 threshold for 17 consecutive weeks, suggesting a continued strengthening of the job market.

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