Weekly Jobless Claims Fall; Reading Clouded by Processing Snafu

Unemployment Benefits
Alan Diaz/AP

WASHINGTON -- The number of new U.S. jobless claims fell sharply last week but much of the decline appeared due to technical problems in claims processing, clouding the last major reading of labor market health before a Federal Reserve meeting.

Initial claims for state unemployment benefits slipped 31,000 to a seasonally adjusted 292,000, the Labor Department said Thursday.