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Americans filing jobless claims at the highest level in 8 months

New claims for jobless benefits are at their highest weekly level since late last year.

Applications for jobless aid for the week ending July 16 rose by 7,000 to 251,000, up from the previous week's 244,000, the Labor Department reported Thursday. That's the most since mid-November last year.

The total number of Americans collecting jobless benefits for the week ending July 9 rose by 51,000 from the previous week to 1,384,000. That figure has been near 50-year lows for months, indicating that even as some employers are laying off workers, those workers are moving to new jobs relatively easily.

Earlier this month, the Labor Department reported that employers added 372,000 jobs in June, a surprisingly robust gain and similar to the pace of the previous two months. Economists had expected job growth to slow sharply last month given the broader signs of economic weakness.

The biggest job losses are happening within tech, real estate, and mortgage lending companies, as well as big box retail sectors. The companies are laying off workers and slowing their hiring they experience fewer sales and smaller profit margins.

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Noelia Gonzalez

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