WASHINGTON — Initial jobless claims fell by the most in two months in the week ending Oct. 16, as new filings for unemployment benefits fell 23,000 to 452,000, according to the Labor Department.

Continuing claims fell to 4.441 million for the week ending Oct. 9. Continuing claims for the week ending Oct. 2 were revised higher to 4.450 million in data released Thursday.

Economists expected 455,000 initial and 4.410 million continuing claims. New filings for unemployment benefits have averaged 464,700 a week so far in 2010.

Initial claims for the week ending Oct. 9 were revised higher to 475,000 from 462,000. The revision came as many states estimated data after the Columbus Day holiday, a Labor Department official said.

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