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Jobless Claims Fall to Lowest Level in over Four Years

Spencer Platt/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Jobless claims tumbled to their lowest level since February 2008 last week following a surprising monthly jobs report, the Labor Department reported on Thursday.

For the week ending Oct. 6, the number of people filing for benefits dropped by 30,000 to 339,000.  The previous week, claims stood at 369,000.

The four-week average also went down, falling by 11,500 to 364,000.

The positive figures come after the Labor Department reported last Friday that U.S. employers added 114,000 jobs to their payrolls in September, meeting economists' expectations.  

In an unexpected twist, however, the unemployment rate dipped from 8.1 percent to 7.8 percent, marking the first time the figure has fallen below 8 percent since January 2009.  Economists had expected to see the unemployment rate remain above 8 percent.

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