The number of Americans filing for first-time jobless benefits fell last week to just above the lowest level since 1973, the latest sign of tightening in the labour market.

Jobless claims declined to 234,000 last week, from 246,000 in the previous week. The figure was just above the 233,000 notched in November and came in below the Wall Street forecasts of 249,000.

The figure suggests that the jobs market has continued to firm, even as the unemployment rate has remained at or near levels consistent with its natural level.

Treasury yields ticked up slightly after the Thursday’s report. The policy-sensitive two-year yield, which moves in the opposite direction of the price, inched up by 1.2 basis points to 1.15 per cent. The 10-year yield climbed almost 2bps to 2.36 per cent.

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