U..S. jobless claims drop to lowest level since October

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The numbers: Initial jobless claims inched down by 1,000 to 202,000 in the week ended Jan. 6 , the Labor Department said Thursday.  

Economists polled by The Wall Street Journal had estimated new claims would rise to 210,000. This is the lowest level since mid-October.

Last week claims fell a revised 17,0000 to 203,000. That compared with the initial estimate of a drop of 18,000 to 202,000.

Key details:  The number of people already collecting jobless benefits in the week ended Dec. 30  fell by 34,000 to 1.83 million.

Big picture: The labor market remains healthy, boosting spending and keeping the economy growing, albeit at a slower pace than in the third quarter.

Read More: U..S. jobless claims drop to lowest level since October

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