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Decline in Jobless Claims Shows U.S. Labor Demand Remains Robust

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The decline in filings for U.S. unemployment benefits last week underscores steady demand for workers in a tightening job market, Labor Department figures showed Thursday.

The latest figure is little changed from the average so far this year. A shortage of qualified workers is making employers reluctant to let go of the people they already have, keeping the underlying trend in jobless claims near the lowest level in more than four decades.