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Unemployment aid claims drop in US

THE number of newly laid-off Americans signing up for unemployment benefits dropped unexpectedly last week, but the number of people continuing to draw jobless aid rose to nearly 6.3 million, setting a record high for the 13th straight week.

Meanwhile, consumer spending fell more than expected in March while personal savings rose, fresh evidence that the economy is still struggling to emerge from the recession. The Labor Department yesterday said new applications for unemployment aid fell to a seasonally adjusted 631,000 last week. That was down from the prior week's 645,000, which was revised slightly higher from the government's initial estimate. Economists had expected a small increase in new jobless claims.


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