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Jobless Claims Fell Sharply Last Week

There were 346,000 first-time claims for unemployment benefits, down 42,000 from the week before, the Employment and Training Administration reports.

Meanwhile, the "4-week moving average" of claims was 358,000, up by 3,000 from the previous week's 355,000. That measure smooths out some of the volatility in the numbers.

After recent reports that were disappointing — including last week's news that employers added only 88,000 jobs to their payrolls in March — Thursday's data on jobless claims were a positive switch.

Bloomberg News says the decline in claims was more than forecast and could be a sign that some things that tend to cause unusual swings in data, including holidays such as Easter, have worked their way through the numbers.

"The spike in claims was temporary," Brian Jones, a senior U.S. economist at Societe Generale in New York, tells Bloomberg. "Claims will continue to come down. Things are getting better."

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Reflecting On Football And Addiction As 'Friday Night Lights' Turns 25

Twenty-five years ago, Buzz Bissinger wrote about the big-time stakes of small-town high-school football in Friday Night Lights. Now he talks about the impact the book had on the players and himself.
NPR

Heavy Loads Of Pollen May Shift Flight Plans Of The Bumblebee

Foraging bumblebees can pick up nearly half their weight in pollen before heading home to the hive, research shows. All that weight tucked into hollows on their hind legs can complicate flying.
NPR

President Obama Unveils New Power Plant Rules In 'Clean Power Plan'

Key elements of the Clean Power Plan include a requirement that would cut the power industry's carbon pollution by 32 percent below 2005 levels in the next 15 years.
NPR

Group Offers To Help Revive HitchBOT That Was Vandalized In Philadelphia

A kid-sized robot that's built around a PVC bucket and sports a friendly face, the hitchBOT couldn't make it out of Philadelphia in one piece.

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