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According to Bloomberg, jobless claims increased by 14,000 to 266,000 in the week ended July 23, a Labor Department report showed Thursday in Washington. The median forecast in a Bloomberg survey called for 262,000 applications. The less-volatile four-week average dropped to remain at the second-lowest level since 1973.
"The labor market's still firm, and really on a path of gradual improvement," Gennadiy Goldberg, an interest-rate strategist at TD Securities in New York, said before the report. "Companies aren't very keen to lay off workers -- it's a strong signal, and I think it stays that way assuming growth continues, even at its kind of meager pace."
Estimates in the Bloomberg survey ranged from 245,000 to 275,000. The Labor Department revised the prior week's reading to 252,000 from an initially reported 253,000.
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