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First-time claims for U.S. unemployment benefits unexpectedly increased in the week ended March 13th, according to a report released by the Labor Department on Thursday.

The report said initial jobless claims climbed to 770,000, an increase of 45,000 from the previous week’s revised level of 725,000.

The rebound came as a surprise to economists, who had expected jobless claims to edge down to 700,000 from the 712,000 originally reported for the previous week.

Meanwhile, the Labor Department said the less volatile four-week moving average dipped to 746,250, a decrease of 16,000 from the previous week’s revised average of 762,250.


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