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US initial jobless claims fall for third time in four weeks

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The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits fell for the third time in four weeks, suggesting the labour market is still gradually recovering while remaining far from its pre-pandemic health.

[WASHINGTON] The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits fell for the third time in four weeks, suggesting the labour market is still gradually recovering while remaining far from its pre-pandemic health.

Initial jobless claims in regular state programmes declined to 787,000 in the week ended Oct 17, according to Labor Department data Thursday. Without adjustments for seasonal fluctuations, claims dropped by about 73,000.

Continuing claims - the total pool of Americans on ongoing state unemployment benefits - fell to 8.37 million in the week ended Oct 10.

Economists expected 870,000 initial state claims and 9.63 million continuing claims, according to the median estimates in a Bloomberg survey.

California reported the first updated figures from the state since it paused processing for two weeks to whittle down a massive backlog and improve fraud prevention. The new numbers put national jobless claims on a lower path than previously reported.

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