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Economic Report: Low jobless claims look like rerun of early 1970s

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Layoffs haven’t been this low since the early 1970s thanks to strong job creation over the past six years.

WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) — The number of Americans applying for and receiving unemployment benefits continue to drop to levels last seen nearly a half century ago, a sign the U.S. labor market remains quite robust eight years into an economic expansion.

Initial jobless claims rose by 1,000 to 234,000 in the seven days stretching from May 14 to May 20, the government said Thursday. That’s just a few notches above the postrecession low set in February.

The average of new claims over the past month, meanwhile, fell by 5,750 to 235,250 — the lowest level since April 1973.

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