WASHINGTON — Initial jobless claims dropped 3,000 to 420,000 for the week ending Dec. 11, matching economist expectations for new filings for unemployment benefits, the Labor Department reported Thursday.

Continuing claims, a measure of the number of people already receiving jobless benefits, rose 22,000 to 4.135 million for the week ending Dec. 4, exceeding the 4.05 million median estimate in an earlier Thomson Reuters survey of economists.

Initial claims for the week ending Dec. 4 were upwardly revised to 423,000 from an originally reported 421,000 figure last week. Continuing claims for the week ending Nov. 27 were revised up to 4.113 million from an earlier reported 4.086 million.

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