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U.S. jobless claims fall to six-month low of 232,000

The number of Americans who sought unemployment benefits in mid-August fell to the lowest level in six months, mirroring the strongest U.S. labor market in almost two decades.

Initial jobless claims in the period running from Aug. 6 to Aug. 12 declined by 12,000 to 232,000, the Labor Department said Thursday.

That’s the lowest level since February and the second lowest since the current economic expansion began in 2009. The U.S. has added some 16 million jobs in the past seven and a half years to drive the unemployment rate down to a 16-year low.

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