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  • Initial Jobless Claims Drop To 271,000

    Initial jobless claims dropped to 271,000, a decrease of 5,000 from the previous period, the Department of Labor said in a report Thursday.

    The seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate hovered at 1.6 percent, down .2 percent from the previous year. Bloomberg economists initially projected the number would fall t0 270,000.

    The four-week average increased by 3,000 up to 270,750 people seeking claims from state programs, but down 10,000 from 2014 numbers.

    The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits has remained under 300,000 for 37 straight weeks. Jobless claims are close to reaching the lowest levels they have seen since the 1970s.

    The strength of the labor market is one of the factors the Federal Reserve is taking into consideration in its decision on whether the economy is stable enough to raise interest rates for the first time in nearly a decade.

    “Most participants anticipated that, based on their assessment of the current economic situation and their outlook for economic activity, the labor market, and inflation, these conditions could well be met by the time of the next meeting,” minutes of the Federal Open Market Committee said in October.

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