Workers filing for first-time jobless benefits dropped in the latest week to 1.19 million, well below what analysts had been expecting, and applications for pandemic assistance also fell, the Labor Department reported Thursday.

However, the four-week average for initial unemployment claims was barely changed at 1.33 million in the week ended August 1, the report said.

The total workers continuing to receive benefits fell to 16.1 million, but that was nearly 10 times higher than a year earlier, and the insured unemployment rate dipped six-tenths to a still-high 11 percent through the week ended July 25.

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