Initial unemployment benefits claims for last week were 361,000, a drop of 6,000 from the previous week, the U.S. Labor Department said Thursday.
The four-week average rose 2,250 to 368,250 from the previous week's revised average of 366,000, the department's Employment and Training Administration said in a release.
The advance number of unadjusted actual first-time claims under state programs totaled 317,580 for the week ending Saturday, an increase of 4,934 from the previous week, the Labor Department said. There were 354,408 initial claims in the comparable week in 2011.
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