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US jobless claims unexpectedly fall; worker productivity drops in Q4

Economists blame soft productivity on a shortage of workers, which could be an obstacle to faster economic growth

Reuters  |  Washington 

The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits unexpectedly fell last week, pointing to a tightening labor market and strengthening the economy at the start of the year. Other data on Thursday showed worker productivity slipped in the fourth quarter for the first time since early 2016. Weak productivity underscores the challenges of sustaining strong economic growth. Initial claims for state unemployment benefits slipped 1,000 to a seasonally adjusted 230,000 for the week ended January 27, the Labor Department said on Thursday. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast ...

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First Published: Thu, February 01 2018. 22:13 IST