Initial jobless claims fell for the week ending April 5, down sharply from the recessionary levels of the prior week. First-time claims for unemployment benefits fell 53,000, to 357,000, from an upwardly revised 410,000. Economists were expecting a number closer to 386,000.
The four-week moving average, a less volatile measure, rose 2,500, to 378,250. The index is at its highest level since October 2005.
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