The number of Americans filing claims for unemployment benefits decreased by 30,000 last week, the lowest level in four and a half years, according to the Labor Department. The "surprisingly large" drop may reflect "distortions due to seasonal adjustments that are likely to be smoothed out in coming weeks." Still, economists took the report as a positive sign that the jobs market is slowly rebounding.
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- 10 things you need to know today: December 19, 2014
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