By MATT OTT
AP Business Writer
WASHINGTON (AP) — Fewer Americans filed for unemployment benefits last week as the labor market continues to shine despite weakening elements of the U.S. economy. Applications for jobless aid for the week ending Aug. 27 fell by 5,000 to 232,000, the Labor Department reported Thursday. The four-week average for claims, which evens out some of the week-to-week volatility, decreased by 4,000 to 241,500. First-time applications generally reflect layoffs and are often seen as an early indicator of where the job market is headed. Hiring in the U.S. in 2022 has been remarkably strong even as the country faces rising interest rates and weak economic growth.