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Drop in US benefits claimants indicate job upturn

Jobless claims decreased by 2,000 to 326,000 in the week ended Jan. 11, the least since the end of November, from a revised 328,000 in the prior period, a Labor Department report showed today in Washington.

The median forecast of 51 economists surveyed by Bloomberg called for 328,000. A Labor Department spokesman said no states were estimated and there was nothing unusual in the data.

Gains in business and consumer spending are boosting growth prospects, allowing employers to hold the line on firings in anticipation of stronger demand. Fewer dismissals typically precede a pick-up in hiring, as companies take on more workers to help production keep pace with improving momentum in the world’s largest economy


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