WASHINGTON (MNI) - The U.S. Initial Unemployment Claims readings remain a pleasant surprise that are consistent with the labor market doing better, while the GDP data show modest on-going growth that is unlikely to cause new hiring to surge enough to alter the handles on nonfarm payrolls.

Initial Claims fell 5,000 to 305,000 for the September 21 week, resulting in a 308,000 average for September, down from 329,000 in August and 336,000 in July. This sustained lower level suggests additional labor market stability and indicates that larger advances in payrolls still are being held back by a cautious hiring situation.

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