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Jobless Claims Data Brightens Jobs Picture

Reuters (03/14/13) Lucia Mutikani

The number of people applying for new U.S. unemployment benefits fell by 10,000 to 332,000 in the week ended March 9, the U.S. Department of Labor reported today, marking the second lowest level in five years and indicating that the labor market continues to improve. Economists polled by Reuters had expected first-time applications for jobless aid to rise to 350,000. The average of new claims over the past month declined by 2,750 to 346,750—the lowest level in five years—suggesting a firming in underlying labor market conditions.