Initial U.S. jobless claims fell by 19,000 to 238,000 in the last week of April, the government said Thursday. Economists polled by MarketWatch has expected new claims to total a seasonally adjusted 245,000 in the seven days stretching from April 23 to April 29. The more stable monthly average of jobless claims rose by 750 to 243,000. The number of so-called continuing claims that count people already receiving jobless benefits declined by 23,000 to a 17-year low of 1.96 million. And the four-week average of continuing claims was the smallest since 1988.