U.S. jobless claims drop by 19,000 to 238,000

Washington • Fewer Americans filed for unemployment benefits last week after two weeks of small gains. THE NUMBERS: The Labor Department says weekly jobless claims dropped by 19,000 to 238,000, the lowest level in three weeks. The less volatile four-week average edged up by 750 to 243,000. Overall, 1.96 million Americans are collecting unemployment benefits, down 8.1 percent from a year ago. THE TAKEAWAY: Jobless claims are a proxy for layoffs. They have come in below 300,000 for 113 straight we...

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