U.S. weekly jobless claims drop further below 500,000

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits dropped further below 500,000 last week, suggesting job growth picked up this month, though companies still are desperate for workers. Initial claims for state unemployment benefits totaled a seasonally adjusted 444,000 for the week ended May 15, compared to 478,000 in the prior week, the Labor Department said on Thursday. That was the lowest since mid-March 2020. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast 450,000 applications for the latest week. Claims remain well above the 200,000 to 250,000 range that…

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