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August 23, 2018 10:30 AM, EDT

Jobless Claims Fall for Third Week in Tight US Labor Market

Job applicationLynne Sladky/AP

U.S. filings for unemployment benefits fell for a third week and remain near the lowest in almost five decades, indicating a tight job market, Labor Department figures showed Aug. 23.

While applications can be volatile from week to week, the trend reinforces signs that businesses are holding on to existing staff and adding new workers to help meet demand. Economists will likely pay extra attention to Aug. 23’s figures because they encompass the 12th of the month, the reference period for the Labor Department surveys that produce the monthly employment figures.

Those data show the unemployment rate is near the lowest since 1969 and payrolls are climbing at a solid pace even in the 10th year of the economic expansion.

The report for August is due Sept. 7.

With assistance by Jordan Yadoo and Sophie Caronello