) -- The number of new filers for state unemployment insurance fell last week.
Initial jobless claims dropped by 24,000 to a seasonally adjusted 456,000 for the week ending April 17, the Labor Department said Thursday. Wall Street analysts had been looking for new claims to drop to 450,000 from the prior week's pre-revised 484,000 tally, according to consensus figures provided by Briefing.com.
But the moving average of new claims over the last four weeks, which flattens the wild weekly gyrations that tend to occur in claims data, climbed higher by 2,750 to 460,250.
The number of those continuing on jobless benefit roles, however, decreased to 4.646 million for the week ending April 10 from 4.686 million.
--Written by Sung Moss in New York