Passersby walk in front of a help wanted sign at a McDonalds restaurant in the Brooklyn borough of New York, March 7, 2014. REUTERS/Keith Bedford
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New applications for U.S. unemployment benefits dropped last week and the number of Americans on jobless rolls fell back to levels last seen in 1973, suggesting a further tightening in labor market conditions.Claims fell to 202,000 during the week ended Sept. 15, which was the lowest level since November 1969 .The four-week moving average of initial claims, considered a better measure of labor market trends as it irons out week-to-week volatility, rose 2,000 to 211,750 last week.Thursday's claims report also showed the number of people receiving benefits after an initial week of aid fell 13,000 to 1.64 million for the week ended Oct. 6, the lowest level since August 1973 . The four-week moving average of the so-called continuing claims dipped 1,250 to 1.65 million, also the lowest level since August 1973 .The Philadelphia Fed's employment index rose 2 points to a reading of 19.5 this month and firms also reported increasing hours for workers.The prices paid index had dropped 15 points in September.
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