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Survey: US Job Market Improving - 2004-01-20


A new survey of more than 100 businesses shows the U.S. job market is improving.

The study released Tuesday by the National Association for Business Economics says a growing number of companies expect to hire new workers over the next six months.

The U.S. unemployment rate, which is reported separately, recently dropped to 5.7 percent.

The survey also shows that more companies expect to increase business investment, which experts say is a key factor in economic growth.

A separate survey by the Reuters news service shows that economists expect the U.S. economy to grow at a healthy 4.7 percent this year.

But the experts also caution that the large U.S. budget deficit could eventually harm economic growth. The gap between what the government takes in and what it spends has grown to about four percent of the gross domestic product.