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Unemployment Drops to its Lowest Level in 5 Years

Unemployment fell to its lowest level in five years. The Labor Department said jobless claims fell by 35,000 last week to 291,000.

From the Associated Press

Claims for jobless benefits fell to the lowest level in five years last week, as the economy showed continuing reslience after last year's damaging hurricanes. The government reproted that first-time jobless claims fell by 35,000 last week to 291,000. 

The drop in claims cannot be easily dismissed, said Drew Matus, an economist for Lehman Bros. "It does support our view that tomorrow's payroll report will be close to 200,000 and that the unemployment rate will dip to 4.9%."


New filings in this range are consistent with steady job growth of about 200,000 per month, economists say.