U.S. Jobless Claims Fell, Labor Market Continues to Tighten

WASHINGTON – The number of Americans filing applications for new unemployment benefits fell last week, signaling a strong labor market that’s continuing to tighten.

Initial jobless claims, a proxy for layoffs across the U.S., fell by 2,000 to a seasonally adjusted 236,000 in the week ended Dec. 2, the Labor Department said Thursday. This was in line with what economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal had expected.

Last week’s near-historic low claims figure is a sign Friday’s jobs report could bring yet another historically low unemployment rate. The number dipped to 4.1% in October, the lowest reading in almost two decades. Employers hired at a strong pace in October, and temporary holiday season hiring that month and…

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