A job seeker fills out a form during a jobs fair in Indiana. Layoffs in the U.S. are still extremely low even though the U.S. economy has softened. The numbers: The number of people who applied for unemployment benefits last week fell slightly and remained near post-recession lows, suggesting that most companies have refrained from layoffs even though the economy has slowed. Initial jobless claims, a rough way to measure layoffs, fell by 8,000 to 221,000 in the seven days ended June 29, the government said Wednesday.
Economists polled by MarketWatch estimated new claims would total a seasonally adjusted 220,000. The report was released a day earlier owing to the July 4 holiday. The more stable monthly average of new claims rose by a scant 500 to 222,250. The four-week average gives a more accurate 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: Raw or unadjusted claims fell last week in California, Massachusetts, Connecticut and Pennsylva
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