Unemployment Rate

Applications for unemployment benefits edge up 5,000

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

THE NUMBERS: Claims for unemployment benefits rose by 5,000 last week to a seasonally adjusted 239,000, the Labor Department reported Thursday. 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.

THE TAKEAWAY: Jobless claims are a proxy for layoffs....

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