The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment rose less than expected last week, a sign that the labor market continues to strengthen.
Initial claims for state unemployment benefits increased 11,000 to a seasonally adjusted 278,000 for the week ended Jan. 31, the Labor Department said on Thursday.
The increase left intact the bulk of the prior week’s huge decline, which had taken claims to their lowest level since April 2000. Claims for the week ended Jan. 24 were revised to show 2,000 more applications received than previously reported.
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