U.S. Initial Jobless Claims Unexpectedly Drop to 264,000: Chart

Filings for U.S. unemployment benefits unexpectedly fell last week by 4,000 to 264,000, Labor Department data showed on Thursday. The median forecast in a Bloomberg survey called for 270,000. Filings have been below 300,000 for 66 consecutive weeks -- the longest stretch since 1973 and a level economists say is typically consistent with a healthy labor market.

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