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Fist-time claims for U.S. unemployment benefits unexpectedly increased in the week ended November 21st, according to a report released by the Labor Department on Wednesday.

The report said initial jobless claims climbed to 778,000, an increase of 30,000 from the previous week’s revised level of 748,000.

The increase surprised economists, who had expected jobless claims to drop to 730,000 from the 742,000 originally reported for the previous week.

The Labor Department said the less volatile four-week moving average also edged up to 748,500, an increase of 5,000 from the previous week’s revised average of 743,500.


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