The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits fell to its lowest level in nearly 45 years in February, raising expectations of faster wage growth in 2018, according to the Labor Department. Initial claims decreased to a seasonally adjusted 221,000 for the week ending February 3, the lowest level since January 1973. This marked the 153rd week that claims remained below the 300,000 mark, which is associated
with a strong labor market. Overall unemployment is at 4.1 percent, and beginning to exert upward pressure on wage growth. This supports the Federal Reserve’s belief that inflation will increase to the U.S. central bank’s 2% target this year.