US jobless claims fall more than expected

A job seeker holds a job training information brochure during a job fair in Chicago on Jan 14, 2016.
A job seeker holds a job training information brochure during a job fair in Chicago on Jan 14, 2016.PHOTO: BLOOMBERG

WASHINGTON (REUTERS) - The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits fell from a six-month high last week, suggesting the labour market recovery remains intact despite a sharp stock market sell-off and signs the economy has lost significant momentum.

Initial claims for state unemployment benefits dropped to a seasonally adjusted 278,000 in the week ended Jan. 23 from 294,000 the prior week, the Labor Department said on Thursday.

Economists polled by Reuters had forecast claims falling to 282,000 in the latest week. Claims have been volatile in recent weeks because of difficulties adjusting the figures to account for seasonal fluctuations.