Jobless Claims Remain Near 48-Year Low

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    Fewer Americans joined the ranks of the unemployed last week than economists expected.

    New applications for state unemployment benefits held near the 48-year low of last week, indicating that employers are increasingly holding on to their employees.

    Initial claims for state unemployment benefits came in at a seasonally adjusted 211,000 for the week ended May 5, according to a Labor Department report released Thursday. That was unchanged from the week prior. Claims dropped to 209,000 during the week ended April 21, which was the lowest level since December 1969.

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    Economists had forecast claims rising to 218,000 in the latest week.

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