Labor Dept.: Weekly jobless claims decline to 339,000

(CNN) - The number of people who filed new applications for unemployment benefits fell slightly in the last week of December.

The Labor Department says initial claims declined by 2,000 to 339,000. The average of new claims over the past month rose by 8,500. Economists say that increase likely reflects a temporary holiday-season spike that will fade over the next few weeks. 


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