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U.S. jobless claims hit 259,000

Staff Writer |
Initial claims for state unemployment benefits increased 22,000 to a seasonally adjusted 259,000 for the week ended January 21, the Labor Department said.

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Claims for the prior week were revised to show 3,000 more applications received than previously reported.

Claims have now been below 300,000, a threshold associated with a healthy labor market, for 99 consecutive weeks. That is the longest stretch since 1970, when the labor market was much smaller.

The four-week moving average of claims, considered a better measure of labor market trends as it irons out week-to-week volatility, fell 2,000 to 245,500 last week, the lowest since November 1973.

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