Washington, The number of people filing initial applications for U.S. state unemployment benefits fell unexpectedly last week, the government reported Thursday, indicating that employers are retaining their workers even as demand for labor is declining.

The Labor Department said jobless claims fell 10,000 to 210,000 last week. The drop in claims, a measure of layoffs, followed two weeks of increases and indicated that the labor market remains strong.

The government reported last week that the unemployment rate fell to a 50-year low of 3.5 percent in September.

However, employers added only 136,000 jobs last month, down from 168,000 in August. The three-month average gain in private-sector employment fell to 119,000, the smallest since mid-2012, from 135,000 in August.

Source: Saudi Press Agency

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