Jobless figure falls in America

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The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits fell more than expected last week, which eased fears of a deterioration in labour market conditions after a surprise stumble in jobs’ growth in March.

Initial claims for state unemployment benefits dropped 42,000 to a seasonally adjusted 346,000, the US ­labour department said yesterday, unwinding a jump in the prior week that appeared related to difficulties adjusting data for seasonal variations. That was the largest weekly drop since mid-November.

US jobless benefit claims are now back at the lower end of their range for this year.