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Decrease in Claims Shows U.S. Labor Market Mending: Economy

Claims for jobless benefits dropped last week to the lowest level in a month as fewer temporary workers were dismissed following the holidays, showing the U.S. labor market is on the mend.

The number of applications for unemployment insurance payments declined by 15,000 to 330,000 in the period ended Jan. 4, the fewest since the end of November, the Labor Department reported today in Washington. Another report today showed consumers grew a bit more optimistic at the start of 2014.