U.S. weekly jobless claims drop to 19-month low

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits dropped to a 19-month low last week, pointing to a tightening labor market, though a shortage of workers could keep the pace of hiring moderate in October. Initial claims for state unemployment benefits fell 6,000 to a seasonally adjusted 290,000 for the week ended Oct. 16, the Labor Department said on Thursday. That was lowest level since the middle of March in 2020, when the nation was in the early stage of the COVID-19 pandemic. It was also the second straight week that claims remained below 300,000 a…

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