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    US jobless claims fall after two straight weekly increases

    • The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits fell last week after two straight weekly increases.
    • Initial claims for state unemployment benefits declined 13,000 to a seasonally adjusted 239,000 for the past week.
    • A backlog of applications from Puerto Rico was processed following repairs to infrastructure damaged by Hurricanes Irma and Maria.

    The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits fell last week after two straight weekly increases, pointing to continued steady job growth after recent hurricane-related disruptions.

    Initial claims for state unemployment benefits declined 13,000 to a seasonally adjusted 239,000 for the week ended Nov. 18, the Labor Department said on Wednesday, reversing the prior week’s increase.

    Claims had risen in recent weeks as a backlog of applications from Puerto Rico was processed following repairs to infrastructure damaged by Hurricanes Irma and Maria. A Labor Department official said claims-taking procedures continued to be disrupted in the Virgin Islands.

     cnbc
     

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