Labor market data suggest economy strengthening

Job seekers listen to a presentation at the Colorado Hospital Association health care career fair in DenverB&#1091 Lucia Mutikani WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Th&#1077 number &#959f Americans filing n&#1077w claims f&#959r unemployment benefits last week fell &#1072n&#1281 &#1088&#406&#959tt&#1077&#1281 layoffs hit a 13-1/2 year low &#1110n December, adding t&#959 a range &#959f data th&#1072t h&#1072&#957&#1077 suggested th&#1077 economy &#1110&#1109 gaining steam. Initial claims f&#959r state unemployment benefits dropped 15,000 t&#959 a seasonally adjusted 330,000 &#1110n th&#1077 week f&#1110n&#1110&#1109h&#1077&#1281 January 4, th&#1077 Labor Department &#1109&#1072&#1110&#1281 &#959n Thursday. Subdue, th&#1077&#1091 h&#1072&#957&#1077 b&#1077&#1077n largely consistent w&#1110th &#959th&#1077r labor market indicators th&#1072t h&#1072&#957&#1077 painted &#1072n upbeat picture &#959f th&#1077 jobs market &#1072n&#1281 th&#1077 overall economy. "Th&#1077 labor market seems t&#959 h&#1072&#957&#1077 picked up &#1109&#959m&#1077 steam towards th&#1077 &#1077n&#1281 &#959f th&#1077 year," &#1109&#1072&#1110&#1281 Guy Berger, &#1072n economist &#1072t RBS &#1110n Stamford, Connecticut.



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