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US jobless claims drop again, near pandemic low

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(WASHINGTON) — Weekly unemployment claims dropped slightly last week, with 375,000 Americans applying for first-time benefits.

That figure dropped for the third consecutive week, according to the Department of Labor, a sign that employers are laying off fewer people amid an increase in consumer demand. That as some employers insist they are struggling to fill open jobs. Still, new claims are near the pandemic low of 368,000, set last month.

The job market and the broader economy are getting better despite the rise in coronavirus infections from the delta variant that are starting to crimp some economic activity. The latest jobs report showed 943-thousand jobs were created in July, the biggest increase in nearly a year.

Prior to the pandemic, weekly unemployment claims were at about 220,000 per week.

Still, consumers continue to see an increase in the costs of goods and services. In July, the consumer price index rose 0.5 percent. Still more price hikes are on the horizon, with 44 percent of small businesses surveyed this month saying they plan to raise prices.

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