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Week after week, new jobless claims continue to point to an improving labor market

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There are fewer and fewer workers drawing unemployment benefits which points solidly at improvement underway in the labor market. Initial claims fell 8,000 in the September 27 week to 287,000, pulling down the 4-week average by a sizable 4,250 to 294,750 which is nearly 10,000 below the month-ago comparison.

Continuing claims confirm the improvement. In data that lag by a week, continuing claims for the September 20 week fell 45,000 to a new recovery low of 2.398 million with the 4-week average down 20,000 to a new recovery low of 2.441 million. The unemployment rate for insured workers remains at a recovery low of 1.8 percent.

There are no special factors in today's report, one that should firm confidence in strength for tomorrow's employment report.

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