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Jobless-aid requests jumped last week

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WASHINGTON (AP) — More Americans requested unemployment benefits last week, but the level remains near historic lows in a positive sign for the job market.

THE NUMBERS: Applications for jobless aid jumped 20,000 to a seasonally adjusted 287,000, the Labor Department said Thursday. The less volatile 4-week average climbed 4,500 to 277,000.

Over the past 12 months, the number of people receiving benefits has fallen 7.1 percent to 2.2 million.

Businesses still view the U.S. economy as growing, despite the manufacturing sector struggling amid a broader global slowdown. Employers have hired about 210,000 workers a month this year. And unemployment last month held at a seven-year low 5 percent.

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