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By Andrew Khouri, Los Angeles Times (TNS)

Initial jobless claims fell more than expected last week, underscoring an improved labor market.

First-time applications for unemployment benefits fell 6,000 from the previous week to 289,000, the Labor Department said Thursday. Economists had expected claims for the week ended Dec. 13 to be 293,000, according to FactSet.

After a slow start to the year, the economy is now on pace to create the most new jobs since 1999. In November, the U.S. added 321,000 jobs, the largest gain in nearly three years.

Jobless claims now hover at 2000 levels.

The less-volatile four-week moving average for claims fell 750 to 298,750.

AFP Photo/Justin Sullivan

Amy Coney Barrett

Photo from Fox 45 Baltimore/ Facebook

Donald Trump will select U.S. Appeals Court Judge Amy Coney Barrett as his Supreme Court pick Saturday, multiple news outlets confirmed with White House officials on Friday — and the outlook couldn't be more bleak for reproductive rights, LGBTQ rights, immigration, and the future of health care in the United States.

According to the New York Times, Trump "will try to force Senate confirmation before Election Day."

"The president met with Judge Barrett at the White House this week and came away impressed with a jurist that leading conservatives told him would be a female Antonin Scalia," the Times reported.

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