The strong labor market has reduced the rate of layoffs to the lowest level in decades. The numbers: Applications for unemployment benefits rose slightly in mid-July, but the rate of layoffs clung to exceedingly low levels that show the U.S. labor market is still going strong more than a decade after the last recession. Initial jobless claims climbed by 8,000 to 216,000 in the seven days ended July 13, the government said Thursday. Economists polled by MarketWatch estimated new claims would total a seasonally adjusted 221,000.
The more stable monthly average of new claims slipped by 250 to 218,750. The four-week average usually gives a better read into labor-market conditions than the more volatile weekly number. Read: Weak unions, globalization not to blame for shrinking slice of income pie for workers What happened: California, Georgia and Texas reported large increases in new jobless claims, partly offset by big declines in New Jersey and Michigan. Claims
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