WASHINGTON Initial claims for U.S. state unemployment benefits plunged 33,000 to 342,000 in the April 19 survey week, the Labor Department reported yesterday, but a Labor analyst cited no special factors.
The reading was the lowest since 342,000 was reported in the Feb. 16 week of this year.
Analysts had expected initial jobless claims to rise to 377,000. The previous weeks initial claims level was revised slightly upward to 375,000 from the original 372,000.
The level of adjusted continuing claims in the April 12 week dipped a sharp 65,000 to 2.934 million, dropping from a nearly four-year high reported in the previous week.
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