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Jobless claims fell more than expected last week, easing fears that the labor market recovery was slowing.
The number of people applying for unemployment benefits fell by 27,000 last week to a seasonally adjusted 365,000, said the Labor Department on Thursday.
According to Reuters, the claims fell more than expected from the previous week's 392,000, easing fears that the recovery of the labor market was coming to a standstill.
CNN Money reported that the expected figure had been a more modest 375,000.
The Associated Press noted that the four-week average, a less volatile measure of unemployment aid, was 383,500. "Applications are a measure of the pace of layoffs. When they fall below 375,000, it generally suggests that hiring will be strong enough to lower the unemployment rate," according to the AP.
CNN Money noted that claims in the spring are volatile because Easter and spring break from school can throw off how many temporarily out-of-work individuals are applying for benefits.
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The drop in claims, the biggest since May 2011, was slightly optimistic news after a report from payrolls processor ADP on Wednesday showed that private employers had created the fewest jobs in seven months, according to Reuters.
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Another indicator, the number of people continuing to receive benefits, fell from 3.33 million to 3.28 in the week ending on April 21, according to Bloomberg.
The number of people collecting emergency and extended benefits also decreased by about 62,300, to 3.08 million in the week ending on April 14.
The numbers have little bearing on the report expected on Friday which will reveal the number of jobs added in April as well as the unemployment rate. The economists surveyed by CNN Money estimate that the Labor Department's data will show 160,000 jobs added and the unemployment rate holding steady at 8.2 percent.
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