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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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.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 73 391 11,120
MORTGAGES 88 481 13,903
FORECLOSURE NOTICES 0 0 2,278
BUILDING PERMITS 198 969 24,034
BANKRUPTCIES 54 288 8,432
BUSINESS LICENSES 29 126 3,771
UTILITY CONNECTIONS 67 536 13,457
MARRIAGE LICENSES 17 103 3,031

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