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Yellen says unemployment rate in 4% range is 'healthy'

FILE PHOTO: U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen holds a news conference at the U.S. Treasury Department in Washington

NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said on Wednesday that she was not sure what an acceptable unemployment rate is for the current economic outlook, but said that the Treasury has considered jobless rates in the 4% range as indicative of a healthy labor market.

Asked at the New York Times Dealbook summit to describe a politically palatable unemployment rate, Yellen said, "I'm not sure what the right number is, but certainly, historically, we would have considered numbers with unemployment in the force to be a very healthy labor market.

The October unemployment rate was 3.7%, close to a 50-year low, and the Labor Department is due to report jobs data for November on Friday.

(Reporting by David Lawder)