Audience members hold signs appealing for jobs as they attend a news conference about extending already-expired unemployment benefits Wednesday, Jan. 8, 2014, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Jan. 16 (Bloomberg) — Fewer Americans filed applications for unemployment benefits last week, a sign the labor market continues to strengthen.

Jobless claims decreased by 2,000 to 326,000 in the week ended Jan. 11, the least since the end of November, from a revised 328,000 in the prior period, a Labor Department report showed today in Washington. The median forecast of 51 economists surveyed by Bloomberg called for 328,000. A Labor Department spokesman said no states were estimated and there was nothing unusual in the data.

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