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U.S. jobless claims fall for third straight week

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits unexpectedly fell last week, a hopeful sign for the labor market recovery.

Initial claims for state unemployment benefits dropped 23,000 to a seasonally adjusted 298,000, declining for a third straight week, the Labor Department said on Thursday.

Claims for the prior week were revised to show 5,000 more applications received than previously reported.

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