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The Ledger - EST. 1978 - Nashville Edition

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VOL. 41 | NO. 6 | Friday, February 10, 2017

Applications for unemployment benefits edge up 5,000

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WASHINGTON (AP) — The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits rose slightly last week but still remained at a level indicating a healthy job market.

The Labor Department says claims for unemployment benefits rose by 5,000 last week to a seasonally adjusted 239,000. The increase came after claims had dropped to 234,000 the previous week, the second lowest reading in the past year. The less-volatile four-week average edged up a slight 500 applications to 245,250. That marks 102 consecutive weeks in which claims applications have been below the key threshold of 300,000, the longest stretch since 1970.

Jobless claims are a proxy for layoffs. The low level for claim applications suggests that employers remain confident enough in the economy to be focusing on hiring new workers and retaining the employees they have.