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U.S. unemployment claims down to 45-year low

Staff Writer |
Unemployment numbers in the United States continue to drop, with new figures showing the lowest number of claims filed in 45 years.

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Last week, the 221,000 claims filed decreased from the previous week by 9,000, according to information released Thursday by the Department of Labor - a larger drop than experts predicted.

The four-week average was at 224,500, decreasing by 10,000 from the previous week, which is the lowest level for this average since March 1973, when it was 222,000, the labor report said.

The decreased numbers are a result of strong economic growth recently. Last year, more than 2 million jobs were created - including 250,000 in manufacturing, mining and logging and 210,000 in construction. Last month alone, 200,000 new jobs were added domestically, including 36,000 in construction.

The unemployment rate of 4.1 percent matches a 17-year low, according to the Department of Labor.

The statistics show earnings also increased in January, the third consecutive monthly rise in the average hourly earnings - a 2.9 percent increase - according to Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta.

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