WASHINGTON — Initial jobless claims fell to 457,000 in the week ending July 24, the Labor Department said Thursday.

Continuing claims increased to 4.565 million for the week ending July 17.

Economists expected 460,000 initial claims and 4.540 million continuing claims.

Initial jobless claims have a loose inverse relationship with job creation and many economists look to them for insight into monthly payroll reports. The decline in new claims points to stronger job creation.

Anthony Chan, chief economist for JPMorgan Private Wealth Management in New York, estimates that 400,000 to 425,000 initial claims a week are consistent with the creation of the 115,000 to 125,000 new jobs the U.S. economy needs each month to accommodate new workforce entries.

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