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Jobless Claims Plunge to Nearly a 44-Year Low

It looks like Donald Trump will inherit a strong economy and labor market.

The Hill reports:

Applications for jobless benefits plunged to a nearly 44-year low last week, a sign of a healthy labor market.

First-time claims for unemployment insurance fell 28,000 to a seasonally adjusted 235,000, just above the record low of 233,000 reached in late November, the the Labor Department said Thursday.

The four-week moving average, which reflects the direction of the job market, for claims dropped 5,750 to 256,750.

Jobless claims have been below 300,000 for 96 consecutive weeks, the longest streak since 1970.

The historically low level of applications is a signal that employers are holding onto their workers as the overall pool of workers shrinks.

Expectations for the government’s job report on Friday is hovering around 180,000 for December, the final full month report of President Obama’s eight-year tenure.

In a separate report on Thursday, payroll processor ADP said that U.S. businesses added a modest 153,000 jobs last month.

Education and healthcare added 29,000 jobs, and hotels and restaurants hired 18,000 in December.

Manufacturers shed 9,000 jobs and construction firms lost 2,000.

Economic growth picked up pace to 3.5 percent in the July-September quarter, the Commerce Department reported last month.

Photo credit: Gage Skidmore/Flickr.

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