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Jobless Claims in U.S. Dropped 9,000 Last Week to 423,000

More Americans than forecast filed first-time claims for unemployment insurance payments last week as the labor market struggled to improve.

Applications for jobless benefits decreased 9,000 in the week ended Sept. 17 to 423,000, Labor Department figures showed today. Economists forecast 420,000 claims, according to the median estimate in a Bloomberg News survey. The average number of claims in the past month rose for a fifth straight week, to the highest level since July 16.