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Unemployment Benefits

Applications for jobless benefits rose again last week

The number of people seeking unemployment benefits rose last week to the highest level since late February. But the increase likely reflected temporary auto plant shutdowns rather than any underlying labor market weakness. The number of people filing applications for unemployment benefits rose by 15,000 to 297,000, the Labor Department reported Thursday. That is the highest weekly total since 327,000 applications were filed in the week of Feb. 28. Even with the recent increases, benefit applications, which are a proxy for layoffs, remain at low levels that reflect a labor market that has been posting solid employment gains. The four-week average for claims, which smooths out some of...

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