The U.S. Department of Labor revealed that initial jobless claims fell to 610,000 for the week ended April 11th, down 53,000 from the previous week's revised figure.

The 4-week moving average for initial claims, a statistic that flattens out week-to-week fluctuations in the data, dipped 8,500 to a level of 651,000.

The number of people receiving ongoing unemployment help, a statistic known as continuing claims, rose above 6 million for the first time since the data have been kept.  Continuing claims for the week ended April 4, the latest week for which the government has data, climbed 172,000 to a level of 6.022 million.

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