Jobless claims Jobless claims

Consumer spending rose in 2012, but not by as much as the year before. In December, these shoppers were out and about in Glendale, Calif. Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty Images

The scene at a career fair in New York City last fall. Mike Segar /Reuters /Landov hide caption

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Mike Segar /Reuters /Landov

At a job fair in New York City earlier this year, a man waited for an interview. Economists say the job market is slowly improving, and the latest data on jobless claims seem to support that analysis. Spencer Platt/Getty Images hide caption

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Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Looking for work: There was a long line last month as job seekers waited to get into an employment fair at Kennedy-King College in Chicago. Scott Olson/Getty Images hide caption

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Scott Olson/Getty Images

Better than expected: Economic growth was higher in the third quarter than first thought. Here, a worker at a Ford plant in Michigan plugs a batter into a Ford C-MAX plug-in hybrid vehicle. Bill Pugliano/Getty Images hide caption

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Bill Pugliano/Getty Images

A Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft at the company's factory in Everett, Wash. Orders for aircraft drove the increase in demand for durable goods last month. Saul Loeb /AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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Saul Loeb /AFP/Getty Images