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US jobless claims resume drop in sign of gradual improvement

[NEW YORK] The number of Americans applying for jobless benefits resumed its decline, signaling a gradual improvement in the battered labour market.

Jobless claims in regular state programmes decreased by 33,000 to 860,000 in the week ended Sept 12, which coincides with the reference period for the government's monthly jobs report, according to Labor Department figures released Thursday. Continuing claims, the total number of Americans on state benefit rolls, fell by almost 1 million, to 12.6 million, in the week ended Sept. 5.

Economists expected initial claims of 850,000 and continuing claims of 13 million, according to median estimates in a Bloomberg survey.


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