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Jobless claims cling near postrecession low

The number of people who applied for unemployment benefits in late August remained close to a postrecession low, pointing to another solid monthly employment report near the end of summer.

Initial jobless claims in the period running from Aug. 20 to Aug. 26 rose by 1,000 to 236,000, the government said Thursday. New claims count people who apply for unemployment benefits after losing their jobs.

The average of new claims over the past month, which gives a more stable picture of layoff trends, fell by 1,250 to 236,750. That’s the second lowest level since the U.S. economy began growing again in the middle of 2009.

New applications for benefits have totaled less than 300,000 for 130 straight weeks, extending the longest streak since the early 1970s.

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