The number of Americans filing first-time unemployment claims last week rose 23,000 to 248,000, the US Labor Department said Thursday.

“The previous week’s level was revised up by 2,000 from 223,000 to 225,000,” according to the agency.

The four-week moving average was 243,250, it said, adding that the figure decreased 10,500 from the previous week’s revised average of 253,250.

The unemployment rate in the world’s largest economy fell to 3.9% in December, down from 4.2% in November, according to the Labor Department.

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