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Published: Thursday, 4/30/2009

New jobless claims unexpectedly drop to 631,000


WASHINGTON The number of newly laid-off workers signing up for unemployment benefits posted an expected drop last week, while people continuing to draw aid topped 6.3 million, setting a record for the 13th straight week.

The Labor Department says new applications for unemployment insurance fell to a seasonally adjusted 631,000 last week. That was down from the prior week s 645,000, which was revised slightly higher from the government s initial estimate.

Economists expected a small increase in new claims.

The number of people continuing to draw unemployment benefits jumped to 6.3 million, the highest on records dating back to 1967 and steeper than economists expected.

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