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The Boston Globe

Business

First-time jobless claims fall to near a five-year low

WASHINGTON — The outlook for the US job market is brightening after a government report showed a sharp drop in the number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits.

Weekly applications fell 27,000 to a seasonally adjusted 341,000, the Labor Department said Thursday. Except for a few weeks last month affected­ by seasonal distortions, that was the lowest level in nearly five years.

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