Quickie- First-time jobless claims fall

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The number of newly unemployed seeking jobless benefits fell more sharply than expected last week, taking a key reading to its lowest level in more than four years, the government reported Thursday.

There were 350,000 filing for initial jobless claims in the week, down from the 362,000 who sought assistance a week earlier. Economists surveyed by Briefing.com had forecast 375,000 would be seeking help last week.

The four-week moving average, which economists prefer to look at since it smooths out the volatility in the weekly numbers, fell by 11,250 to 356,750 last week, as a spike in claims in the wake of Superstorm Sandy faded into the background and the labor market continues to show signs of improvement.

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