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Americans Grow More Upbeat as Job-Market Strength Persists

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U.S. Initial Jobless Claims Fell 20K to 268K

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Lines at state employment agencies last week were about as short as they’ve been in 15 years, adding to evidence of persistent labor-market strength that’s boosting Americans’ spirits.

Applications for unemployment benefits dropped by 20,000 to 268,000 in the seven days ended March 28, the second-lowest since April 2000, Labor Department figures showed Thursday in Washington. Bloomberg’s Consumer Comfort Index advanced a third straight week, approaching the highest reading since July 2007.