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Jobless claims declined slightly, by 1,000 during the week ending April 21, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The slight change may suggest a cooling off of the economy recovery.
The advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 388,000, down from the previous week's revised figure of 389,000.
The 4-week moving average was 381,750, an increase of 6,250 from the previous week's revised average of 375,500.
The Federal Reserve on Wednesday said it expected the unemployment rate to continue to decline at a modest rate to between 7.8% and 8% by the end of 2012. The Fed voted to keep rates at or near zero for the next financial quarter.
The advance seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate was 2.6% for the week ending April 14, unchanged from the prior week.
The advance number for seasonally adjusted insured unemployment during the week ending April 14 was 3.3 million, an increase of 3,000 from the preceding week.
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