Us Labor Market Tightening Mid-atlantic Factory Activity Picks Up


WASHINGTON – New applications for U.S. jobless benefits increased more than expected last week, but the number of Americans on unemployment rolls fell to its lowest level since 1973, pointing to diminishing labor market slack.

Other data on Thursday showed an acceleration in mid-Atlantic factory activity this month, with manufacturers saying they were boosting employment and asking for higher prices for their products. The combination of a tightening labor market and firming inflation bolsters expectations the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates next month.

“The U.S. labor market is headed toward becoming the tightest in recent memory,” said Kathryn Asher, an economist at Moody’s Analytics in West Chester, Pennsylvania.

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