First-time claims for unemployment benefits increased roughly in line with economist estimates in the week ended April 18th, according to a report released by the Labor Department on Thursday, with the report also showing another record number of continuing claims.

The report showed that initial jobless claims rose to 640,000 from the previous week's revised figure of 613,000. Economists had expected jobless claims to rise to 639,000 from the 610,000 originally reported for the previous week.

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