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Published: Friday, 8/17/2012

Jobless claims edge up but show hiring gains

BLADE STAFF AND NEWS SERVICES

WASHINGTON -- The number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits edged up slightly last week but stayed at a level consistent with modest gains in hiring.

Unemployment benefit applications rose by 2,000 to a seasonally adjusted 366,000, the Labor Department said. The less volatile four-week average fell by 5,500 to 363,750. That was the lowest level since late March.

Applications have trended lower in the past two months, indicating firms are laying off fewer workers and hiring is picking up.



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