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March 7, 2013 8:35 AM, EST
Initial Jobless Claims Fall to Six-Week Low

Initial jobless claims fell by 7,000 to 340,000 last week, a six-week low, the Labor Department said Thursday.

Applications for jobless benefits for the week ended Saturday fell to the lowest level since the period ended Jan. 19, Labor said.

The initial claims figure was lower than economists’ forecast of 355,000, Bloomberg News reported.

The four-week moving average, a less volatile measure, fell by 7,000 to 348,750 last week, the lowest since March 2008.

Continuing jobless claims for the previous week ended Feb. 23 rose by 3,000 to 3.09 million.