US jobless claims fall to lowest since Dec

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The number of Americans filing for first-time jobless benefits dipped more than expected last week, the latest sign of strength in the labour market despite rising headwinds.

First-time jobless claims fell to 269,000 last week, the lowest level since the week of December 18, from 285,000 the week prior, the Labor Department reported. Economists expected the figure to fall to 280,000.

Meanwhile, continuing claims fell to 2.24m from 2.26m the week prior, compared to estimates of 2.25m.

The US jobs market has been a bright spot in an economy that has begun to show signs of strain in certain areas, particularly manufacturing. Indeed, Federal Reserve chief Janet Yellen on Wednesday cited the robust labour market as a reason she expects inflation to rise toward the central bank’s target despite a slowdown in the overall economy.

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