USA TODAY US Edition

JOBLESS CLAIMS FELL SHARPLY LAST WEEK

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The number of Americans seeking unemployme­nt benefits fell sharply last week in a sign that layoffs may have eased, though applicatio­ns for aid remain at a historical­ly high level. Jobless claims declined by 111,000 from the previous week to a seasonally adjusted 730,000, the Labor Department said Thursday. It is the lowest figure since late November.

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