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U.S. unemployment rolls hit 17-year low, labor market close to full employment

Staff Writer |
New applications for U.S. jobless benefits fell more than expected last week and the number of Americans on unemployment rolls hit a 17-year low.

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Initial claims for state unemployment benefits dropped 19,000 to a seasonally adjusted 238,000 for the week ended April 29, the Labor Department said on Thursday.

Claims have now been below 300,000, a threshold associated with a healthy labor market, for 113 straight weeks.

That is the longest such stretch since 1970, when the labor market was smaller.

The labor market is close to full employment, with the unemployment rate at a near 10-year low of 4.5 percent.

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