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U.S. jobless claims plunge to 298,000 as layoffs slow

By The Associated Press

This article was published December 5, 2013 at 8:07 a.m.

WASHINGTON — The number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits tumbled 23,000 last week to 298,000, nearly a six-year low that shows companies are laying off fewer workers.

The Labor Department said the less volatile four-week moving average declined 10,750 to 322,250.

Last week's unemployment benefit applications nearly matched a September figure that was distorted by late reporting from California. When excluding the September report, last week's figures were the lowest since May 2007.

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