New unemployment claims in the US fell by 10,000 to 224,500 in January – the lowest figure since 1973.
The weekly figure for the period ending 3 February was 221,000, down 9,000 on the previous week, according to the latest Department of Labor figures.
The number of unemployed people already claiming benefits rose slightly to 1,946,000, an increase of 12,500 from the previous four-week moving average.
However, the weekly figure for the period ending 27 January dropped by 33,000 to 1.92 million.
Unemployment remains at a record 17-year low of 4.1%.
The figures come hard on the heels of news that the US economy created 200,000 new jobs in January, while workers’ pay rose at the quickest rate in nine years.
The Dow rose on opening from 24736 to 24911, continuing its recovery from Monday’s unexpected plunge.