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Financial News Network
August 14, 2012 AT 1:08 AM
Good news for the economy today. The Labor Department reported that jobless claims unexpectedly fell last week, raising hopes that the job market may be on the road to recovery.First time filings for unemployment benefits fell by 6,000, down to 361,000 people in the week of August 4th. Economists had expected 375,000 claims. July jobless claims were trickier, because many auto plants that usually closed during that period elected to remain open. But, according to the Labor Department, these August numbers should be free from any difficult-to-measure seasonal variations. In July, employers added 163,000 workers, which is the largest gain since February of this year. However, unemployment remains above 8%, where it has hovered since February 2009. That's the longest stretch since World War II. The four-week moving average for jobless claims, a more stable measure than the weekly figures, rose slightly to 368,250 from 366,000. We will have to wait and see whether or not last week's trend continues. For more on the latest business news, follow us on Twitter @ FNNOnline, or check out our website at fnno.com