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Applications for US jobless benefits fall to 302,000; 4-week average lowest since June 2007

The number of people seeking U.S. unemployment benefits fell last week, a steady decline that suggests a strengthening job market.

The Labor Department says weekly applications for unemployment aid dipped 3,000 to a seasonally adjusted 302,000.

The four-week average, a less volatile measure, dropped 3,000 to 309,000, the level since June 2007, about five months before the start of the Great Recession.

Applications are a proxy for layoffs, a sign that they expect economic growth to continue. When businesses are confident enough to keep staff, they are also likely to hire more people.

Hiring is at its healthiest clip since the late 1990s and the 6.1 percent unemployment rate is at a 5 1/2-year low. Employers added 288,000 jobs in June, the fifth straight month of job gains above 200,000.

Bank Rates

Loan Type Graph Rate +/- Last Week
30 Y Fixed Graph 3.98% up 3.93%  
15 Y Fixed Graph 3.04% -- 3.04%  
30 Y Fixed Jumbo Graph 4.22% dw 4.51%  
5/1 ARM Graph 3.30% dw 3.69%  
5/1 Jumbo ARM Graph 3.13% dw 3.36%  
Loan Type Graph Rate +/- Last Week
$30K HELOC Graph 4.32% up 4.31%  
$50K HELOC Graph 4.06% -- 4.06%  
$30K Loan Graph 5.05% dw 5.08%  
$50K Loan Graph 4.48% dw 4.50%  
$75K Loan Graph 4.50% dw 4.52%  
Loan Type Graph Rate +/- Last Week
36 M New Graph 2.94% -- 2.94%  
36 M Used Graph 3.48% up 3.46%  
48 M New Graph 3.22% -- 3.22%  
48 M Used Graph 3.04% -- 3.04%  
60 M New Graph 3.24% -- 3.24%  
Loan Type Graph Yield +/- Last Week
6 month Graph 0.39% up 0.38%  
1 yr Graph 0.71% up 0.71%  
5 yr Graph 1.50% -- 1.50%  

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