The number of new people signing up for unemployment benefits dropped last week, an encouraging sign that the labor market is still in decent shape.

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The Labor Department reported Thursday that new applications filed for unemployment insurance declined by a seasonally adjusted 6,000 to 316,000 for the work week ending Sept. 23. The latest showing on claims was close to economists' expectations for claims to total around 315,000 last week.

New claims for the prior week were revised up to 322,000.

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