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Unemployment applications up, below projections


Applications for unemployment benefits rose by 2,000 to 439,000 in the week ended Nov. 13, according to Labor Department figures released today.

The number of people receiving unemployment insurance payments dropped to the lowest level in two years, Bloomberg reported.

The numbers were better than what Bloomberg economists had projected, partly due to companies slowing firings and picking up the pace of hiring.

“It is indicative of some mild improvement in the labor market,” said Stephen Stanley, chief economist at Pierpont Securities LLC in Stamford, Conn., in an interview with Bloomberg. “It’s moving in the right direction, but it still leaves the claims numbers very high.”

Bloomberg economists had projected that applications would rise to 441,000.

The number of people continuing to receive jobless benefits fell by 48,000 in the week ended Nov. 6, down to 4.3 million.

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