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US jobless aid applications fell to 234,000 last week

Fewer Americans applied for unemployment benefits last week, a sign of the job market appears to be increasingly secure for workers.

THE NUMBERS: Weekly applications for unemployment aid plunged 25,000 to a seasonally adjusted 234,000, the Labor Department said Thursday. The four-week average, a less volatile measure, dipped to 250,000.

Over the past year, the number of people collecting benefits had tumbled 7.2 percent to 2.03 million.

THE TAKEAWAY: U.S. workers face a lower risk of losing their jobs, since applications are a proxy for layoffs. The weekly figure has remained below 300,000, a level linked with job growth, for 109 weeks. That's the longest such stretch...

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