Jobless claims fall below 200,000 for first time since 1969

New York (CBS Marketwatch): The number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits through state programs fell below 200,000 for the first time since 1969 — even as new claims soared for furloughed government workers who file through a separate federal program.

Initial jobless claims, a rough way to measure layoffs nationwide, fell by 13,000 to 199,000 in the seven days ended Jan. 19.

That’s the lowest reading since Nov. 15, 1969 and underscores the strength of a U.S. labor market that’s helped the U.S. economy grow for almost 10 years. Economists polled by MarketWatch had forecast a 218,00 reading

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