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Sept. 18 (Bloomberg) — The number of Americans filing applications for unemployment benefits plunged last week to a two-month low, a sign the labor market continues to strengthen.

Jobless claims decreased by 36,000 to 280,000 in the period ended Sept. 13, the Labor Department said today in Washington. The median forecast of 52 economists surveyed by Bloomberg called for decrease to 305,000. Those already collecting unemployment benefits fell to a more than seven-year low.

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