WASHINGTON (AP) — Slightly more Americans applied for jobless aid last week. Despite the small increase, the number of people seeking benefits remained close to historic lows.
The Labor Department said Thursday that weekly unemployment applications rose by 2,000 to a seasonally-adjusted 234,000. The less volatile four-week average fell 2,750 to 237,750.
The increase in claims followed a large drop the previous week. Applications closely reflect layoffs. Jobless claims have come in below 300,000 for 129 weeks in a row. That's the longest such stretch since 1970, when the U.S. population was much smaller.
The unemployment rate has fallen to a 16-year low of 4.3 percent. The government's jobs report for July showed that U.S. employers added 209,000 jobs.