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US jobless claims edge lower, stay in trend

New claims for US unemployment insurance benefits fell last week but stayed within the average seen since the beginning of 2014, Labour Department data showed on Thursday.

WASHINGTON: New claims for US unemployment insurance benefits fell last week but stayed within the average seen since the beginning of 2014, Labour Department data showed on Thursday.

New claims, which indicate the pace of layoffs across the US economy, fell by 3,000 to 336,000 in the week to February 15.

The four-week moving average moved up by 1,750 to 338,500, compared with 362,250 a year ago.

Claims have generally stayed below the 350,000 line since mid-2013, amid some modest gains in the jobs market.

But severe winter weather in much of the country since December appears to have helped slow hiring by businesses over the past two months, likely preventing any meaningful improvement in the jobless claims numbers.

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