WASHINGTON — Initial jobless claims decreased to a seasonally adjusted 442,000 for the week ending March 20, the third decline in four weeks, the Labor Department reported yesterday.

Continuing claims dropped to 4.648 million for the week ending March 13.

Economists expected 450,000 initial claims and 4.560 million continuing claims, according to the median estimate from Thomson Reuters.

Initial claims for the week ending March 13 were revised to 456,000 from 457,000. Continuing claims were revised to 4.725 million from 4.579 million, reflecting the new seasonal adjustment.

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