Jobless claims fell again in January, signaling continued strong economic growth

The number of initial jobless claims fell again in late January, according to Labor Department statistics, signaling again the the U.S. economy remains strong and holding on a continued growth path.

The department said in a release the number of initial unemployment claims fell by 7,000 to a seasonally adjusted 216,000 for the week ending Jan. 25

At the same time, the four-week moving average of initial claims, which irons out week-to-week volatility, fell 1,750 to 214,500.

Also, the number of continuous jobless claims, or the measure of Americans who have been collecting unemployment benefits on an ongoing basis, also fell during the week ending Jan. 18 by 44,000 to about 1.3 million.

The four-week moving average of continuous claims fell by 6,250 claims to about 1.755 million.

The jobless rate is hovering a 50-year low of 3.5 percent while a measure of labor market slack hit an all-time low of 6.7 percent in December.

The positive jobs news notwithstanding, the Federal Reserve announced Wednesday it would not be hiking interest rates.

“Job gains have been solid, on average, in recent months, and the unemployment rate has remained low,” the Fed’s rate-setting body stated after members voted to hold the benchmark Federal Funds rate within a target range of 1.5 to 1.75 percent.

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