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Fewer Americans filed applications for unemployment benefits last week, a sign the labor market continues to strengthen.
Jobless claims decreased by 2,000 to 326,000 in the week ended Jan. 11, the least since the end of November, from a revised 328,000 in the prior period, a Labor Department report showed Thursday in Washington. The median forecast of 51 economists surveyed by Bloomberg called for 328,000. A Labor Department spokesman said no states were estimated and there was nothing unusual in the data.
Fewer dismissals typically precede a pick-up in hiring, as companies take on more workers to help production keep pace with improving momentum in the world’s largest economy.