updated 10/11/2007 8:42:13 AM ET 2007-10-11T12:42:13

The number of newly laid off workers filing claims for unemployment benefits dropped last week, a better showing than had been expected.

The Labor Department reported Thursday that applications for jobless benefits dropped by 12,000 to 308,000 last week. Analysts had been expecting no change.

The four-week average for claims also dropped, falling by 3,000 to 310,250, indicating that the labor market is so far withstanding the adverse impacts of a severe slump in housing and a credit crunch which roiled financial markets in August.

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