Jobless Claims Lower Than Expected

Decrease in filings last week eases concern that U.S. labor market is weakening.

Fewer Americans than forecast filed first-time claims for unemployment insurance payments last week, easing concern that the labor market was deteriorating.

Applications for jobless benefits decreased by 14,000 in the week ended June 30 to 374,000, the fewest since mid-May, Labor Department figures showed today. Economists forecast 385,000 claims, according to the median estimate in a Bloomberg News survey. A Labor Department spokesman said there was nothing unusual in the data.

Four-Week Average

The four-week moving average, a less-volatile measure, fell to 385,750 last week from 387,250.

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