WASHINGTON — Initial claims for unemployment dropped by a further 24,000 in the first week of the new year to 467,000, far below expectations, in what a Labor Department analyst described as a “pretty clean report.”

The figure is 58,000 less than that forecasted by analysts in Market News International’s survey, which had centered on an increase of 33,000 to 525,000.

This decrease in jobless claims follows a surprising 98,000 drop in jobless claims in the Dec. 27 week to 491,000, slightly revised down 1,000 from the initially reported 492,000.

Continuing claims rose by 101,000 to 4.611 million in the Dec. 27 week, the highest since Nov. 20, 1982.

— Market News International

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