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OPINION

Unemployment Benefit Applications Stay At High Level

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The number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits hardly changed for a second straight week, stuck at a high level that points to a slowing job market.

Weekly unemployment benefit applications ticked up 1,000 to a seasonally adjusted 427,000 last week, the Labor Department said.

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It marked the ninth straight week in which applications have been above 400,000. That trend represents a setback after applications had been declining all winter.

Applications had fallen in February to 375,000, a level that signals sustainable job growth. They stayed below 400,000 for seven of nine weeks. But applications surged in April to 478,000 — an eight-month high — and they have been stuck above 400,000 since then.

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