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The U.S. Labor Department released its jobless claims figures on Thursday. The number of initial jobless claims in the week ending April 23 in the U.S. increased by 9,000 to 257,000 from 248,000 in the previous week. The previous week's figure was revised up from 247,000.
Analysts had expected jobless claims to rise to 260,000.
Jobless claims remained below 300,000 the 60th straight week. This threshold is associated with the strengthening of the labour market.
Continuing jobless claims decreased by 5,000 to 2,130,000 in the week ended April 16. It was the lowest level since November 2000.
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