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U.S. weekly jobless claims rise less than expected

Staff Writer |
The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits rose less than expected last week.

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Other data showed import prices posting their largest gain in nearly five years in the 12 months through December, suggesting that inflation could soon push higher.

Import prices are being driven by rising oil prices, but a strong dollar could limit some of the impact on inflation.

Initial claims for state unemployment benefits increased 10,000 to a seasonally adjusted 247,000 for the week ended January 7, the Labor Department said.

It was the 97th straight week that jobless claims remained below 300,000, a threshold associated with a healthy labor market. That is the longest stretch since 1970, when the labor market was much smaller.

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