Last week’s new claims for unemployment benefits touched a 3 1/2 year low with a seasonally-adjusted 364,000 claims. The claims data, which covered the survey period for nonfarm payrolls, helped to take the sting out of a separate report from the Commerce Department showing that gross domestic product grew at a 1.8 percent annual rate in the third quarter.
“The employment situation continues to show strong signs of a recovery and goes against the grain of what people felt four months ago,” said Andrew Wilkinson, chief economic strategist at Miller Tabak & Co. in New York.
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