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Progress U.S. Jobless Claims Decrease Mario Tama/Getty Images

U.S. Jobless Claims Decrease

Weekly jobless claims dropped to a five-year low last week, surprising analysts. During the week ending January 19, applications for unemployment insurance payments decreased by 5,000 to 330,000, the lowest number since the same week in 2008. But this change matches similar patterns in previous calendar years, due to the challenges of adjusting data during the holiday period and at the start of quarters. One expert indicated that the numbers would rise again at the end of the month, saying, "The swings are attributable to the calendar. We're going to pay for this."

January 24, 2013 9:33 AM