Unemployment claims dropped 6,000 to 290,000 last week, the third straight drop. That’s the fewest people to apply for benefits since March 14, 2020. Hiring has slowed in the past two months, even as employers have posted a near-record number of open jobs. The number of people receiving job aid continues to fall. Some of those who had jobs before the pandemic may have stopped looking for work. The U.S. economy is expected to grow at a faster rate this year than last year, according to the Federal Reserve. In the week of Oct. 2, the latest data available, 3.3 million people received unemployment benefits. A year ago, nearly 24 million people were getting unemployment aid. About 7 million people lost jobless benefits in September after two emergency programs, set up in March 2020, expired.
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