Weekly U.S. jobless claims fall 12,000 to 367,000

U.S. jobless claims dropped by 12,000 to a seasonally adjusted 367,000 in the week ended Jan. 28, the Labor Department said Thursday. Economists surveyed by MarketWatch had estimated claims would drop to 370,000. Claims from two weeks ago were revised up by 2,000 to 379,000. The four-week average of claims, meanwhile, fell a smaller 2,000 to 375,750. The monthly average smoothes out seasonal quirks and provides a more accurate assessment of labor-market trends, economists say. Also on Thursday, the government said continuing claims decreased by 130,000 to a seasonally adjusted 3.44 million in the week ended Jan. 21. Continuing claims are reported with a one-week lag. About 7.67 million people received some kind of state or federal benefit in the week ended Jan. 14, virtually unchanged from the prior week. Total claims are reported with a two-week lag.

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