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The number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits last week rose to its highest level since October 2021, but the labor market remains one of the healthiest parts of the U.S. economy. The Labor Department reported Thursday that U.S. applications for jobless claims were 261,000 for the week ending June 3, an increase of 28,000 from the previous week’s 233,000. Weekly jobless claims are considered representative of U.S. layoffs. The four-week moving average of claims, which evens out some of the weekly variations, rose by 7,500 to 237,250. Overall, 1.76 million people were collecting unemployment benefits the week that ended May 27.

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