The labor market continues to improve overall despite apparent setbacks around the end of the year and in January.
Weekly jobless claims fell more than expected, declining by 27,000 to a seasonally adjusted 341,000 for the week ended February 9.
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The four-week moving average of claims which smooths out week-to-week aberrations increase 1500 to 352,000. The average is still near a five-year low.
The number of continuing claims, those drawn by workers unemployed for over one week, fell by 130,000 to the lowest level since July 2008.
The percentage of workers drawing unemployment for the week ended February 2 was equivalent to 2.4% of those employed, down from 2.5%
the previous week.