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Jobless Claims Decline As Americans Go Back To Work

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U.S. jobless claims drop to near 45-year low

The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits unexpectedly fell last week, dropping to its lowest level in nearly 45 years as the labor market tightened further, bolstering expectations of faster wage growth this year. Initial claims for state unemployment benefits decreased 9,000 to a seasonally
via drudgereport.com
 

 The labor market is near full employment, with the jobless rate at a 17-year low of 4.1 percent. The tighter labor market is starting to exert upward pressure on wage growth.

The Labor Department reported last week that average hourly earnings jumped 2.9 percent year-on-year in January, the largest gain since June 2009, after advancing 2.7 percent in December.

Strong wage growth supports optimism among Federal Reserve officials that inflation will increase toward the U.S. central bank's 2 percent target this year. U.S. financial markets expect the Fed will raise interest rates in March.

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