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VOL. 123 | NO. 32 | Friday, February 15, 2008

Jobless Claims Decline by Larger-Than-Expected Amount

By MARTIN CRUTSINGER | AP Economics Writer

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WASHINGTON (AP) - The number of newly laid off workers filing claims for unemployment benefits fell last week by a larger-than-expected amount.

The Labor Department reported Thursday that applications for jobless benefits totaled 348,000 last week, down by 9,000 from the previous week.

Analysts had been expecting a slightly smaller decrease of around 6,000.

The four-week average for claims, which smoothes out the weekly volatility, rose by 3,500 to 347,250, the highest level for this number since October 2005.

Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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RECORD TOTALS DAY WEEK YEAR
PROPERTY SALES 137 550 13,176
MORTGAGES 136 615 17,085
FORECLOSURE NOTICES 19 74 3,364
BUILDING PERMITS 223 924 28,618
BANKRUPTCIES 73 376 10,866
BUSINESS LICENSES 20 131 4,335
UTILITY CONNECTIONS 0 472 16,821
MARRIAGE LICENSES 30 130 3,821

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