Fewer Applications for Jobless Claims Last Week

     (CN) -Fewer people applied for unemployment benefits last week – a sign that the U.S. job market remains strong two months before the presidential election and despite a slowdown in hiring in August.
     The Labor Department said Thursday that the number of applications for unemployment benefits declined by 4,000 last week to a seasonally adjusted 259,000, lowest since mid-July.
Weekly claims have come in below 300,000 for 79 straight weeks, longest streak since 1970.
     Unemployment claims are a proxy for layoffs. The low level of applications suggests that companies are hanging on to staff and that job security remains solid for most U.S. workers.
     The government reported last week that employers slowed hiring to 151,000 jobs last month — down from a monthly average of 204,000 over the past year.

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