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Jobless claims in U.S. increase a more-than-expected 397,000 last week

Washington, D.C. -- A report released Thursday by the U.S. Labor Department showed that jobless claims in the United States rose by 26,000 for the week ended March 5, to 397,000.

Economists expected claims would climb to 376,000, according to a Bloomberg News survey. The total number of people receiving benefits in the prior week fell to the lowest since October 2008.

A Labor Department official told Bloomberg that claims generally rise the week after a federal holiday and some New England states reported more claims due to school holidays. Presidents’ Day was Feb. 21.

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