First time claims for U.S. unemployment benefits decreased in the week ended April 7th, according to a report released by the Labor Department on Thursday.

The report said initial jobless claims fell to 233,000, a decrease of 9,000 from the previous week's unrevised level of 242,000. Economists had expected jobless claims to drop to 230,000.

Meanwhile, the less volatile four-week moving average rose to 230,000, an increase of 1,750 from the previous week's unrevised average of 228,250.

The Labor Department said claims taking procedures in Puerto Rico and in the Virgin Islands have still not returned to normal.

The report said continuing claims, a reading on the number of people receiving ongoing unemployment assistance, increased by 53,000 to 1.871 million in the week ended March 31st.

The four-week moving average of continuing claims edged down to 1,850,250, a decrease of 1,500 from the previous week's revised average of 1,851,750.

by P2PNews Staff Writer

editorial@p2pnews.com

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