Initial claims drop more than expected

Initial claims dropped more than expected.

Claims, which count the number of people who applied for unemployment insurance for the first time, fell by 19,000 to 238,000.

Economists had forecast claims would dip to 248,000 from 257,000.

Initial jobless claims are used as a real-time proxy for the pace of layoffs since people usually file for benefits soon after they lose their jobs.

The four-week moving average was 243,000, an uptick of 750 from the previous week’s unrevised average of 242,250.

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