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The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits fell by 10,000 last week, the second straight week of improvement, the government reported today.

The Labor Department reported that 330,000 newly laid off workers filed for jobless benefits last week compared to 340,000 applications in the previous week, when the number of new claims had fallen by 12,000.

The four-week moving average for claims, designed to smooth out volatility, edged up slightly to 338,000, but that level was still seen as signaling an improving job market.

The government originally reported that jobless claims had fallen by a much larger 23,000 for the week of April 2. However, that estimate was cut almost in half in the new report to show a more moderate 12,000 decline in applications.

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