WASHINGTON — Initial jobless claims fell 24,000 to 456,000 in the week ending April 17, the largest weekly decline in claims since February and the first drop in three weeks, the Labor Department reported yesterday.

Continuing claims fell to 4.646 million for the week ending April 10.

Economists expected 460,000 initial claims and 4.600 million continuing claims, according to the median estimate from Thomson Reuters.

Initial claims for the week ending April 10 were revised lower to 480,000 from 484,000.

Continuing claims were revised to 4.686 million from 4.690 million for the week ending April 3.

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