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Initial-Jobless Claims Show Surprise Drop

The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits unexpectedly decreases by 11,000 last week according to a Labor Department report released early Thursday.

NEW YORK (

TheStreet

) -- The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits unexpectedly decreased by 11,000 last week according to a labor department report released early Thursday.

Initial claims fell to 445,000 in the week ended Oct. 2, from the previous week's revised figure of 456,000. That surprised analysts who were expecting initial claims to come in at 455,000, according to consensus estimates from

Briefing.com

.

The number of people filing continuing claims -- those who have been receiving unemployment insurance for at least a week -- fell to 4.462 million for the week ended Sept. 25 , a decrease of 48,000 from the previous week's revised figure of 4.510 million. That was, however, slightly higher than consensus estimates that projected a dip to 4.450 million.

The 4-week moving average in initial claims, which smoothes the volatility in week-to-week reports, was 455,750, a decrease of 3,000 from the previous week's revised average of 458750. The 4-week moving average in continuing claims was 4.510 million, an decrease of 27,750 from the preceding week's average of 4.538 million.

On Wednesday, the Automatic Data Processing National Employment Report showed

private sector hiring dropped 39,000 in September, against a projected 18,000 increase.

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-- Written by Shanthi Venkataraman in New York.

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