April 26, 2007 -- The number of new claims for unemployment benefits dropped by 20,000 to 321,000 over the week ending April 21, the Labor Department reported on Thursday.

The advance seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate inched up the previous week by 0.1 percent to 2 percent nationwide, with some 2.594 million people filing for claims, the report said.

The biggest declines in new claims last week were in California, Pennsylvania, and Illinois, while the biggest increases were in New York, New Jersey, and Puerto Rico.

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