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By Lucia Mutikani WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits tumbled last week to its lowest level in nearly 15 years, adding to bullish signals on the labor market. Initial claims for state unemployment benefits dropped 43,000 to a seasonally adjusted 265,000 for the week ended Jan. 24, the lowest since April 2000, the Labor Department said on Thursday. The drop, which far exceeded economists' expectations for a fall to only 300,000, probably exaggerates the strength of the jobs market as the data included the Martin Luther King holiday, which means fewer claims were likely processed. The four-week moving average of claims, considered a better measure of labor market trends as it irons out week-to-week volatility, fell 8,250 last week to 298,500.