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Applications for US jobless aid fall by 14K to 298K, another sign the job market is healing

Unemployment Benefits-1.jpg

In this June 23, 2014 photo, people wait in line to meet with recruiters during a job fair in Philadelphia. The Labor Department reports on the number of people who applied for unemployment benefits last week on Thursday, Aug. 21, 2014. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke) (The Associated Press)

Fewer people applied for U.S. unemployment benefits last week, another sign the job market is improving.

The Labor Department says weekly claims for jobless aid fell 14,000 last week to a seasonally adjusted 298,000. The prior week's figures were revised up slightly to 311,000.

The less-volatile four-week average rose 4,750 to 300,750. It remains close to levels that predate the Great Recession of 2007-2009.

Applications are a proxy for layoffs.

Employers added 209,000 jobs in July, the sixth straight month job gains exceeded 200,000. The economy has generated 244,000 new jobs a month since February.

The recent hiring has encouraged more people to look for work, causing July's unemployment rate to rise to 6.2 percent from 6.1 percent in June. The government counts only people searching for jobs as unemployed.

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Loan Type Graph Rate +/- Last Week
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15 Y Fixed Graph 2.95% up 2.91%  
30 Y Fixed Jumbo Graph 4.30% dw 4.31%  
5/1 ARM Graph 3.37% up 3.07%  
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Loan Type Graph Rate +/- Last Week
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$50K HELOC Graph 4.04% -- 4.04%  
$30K Loan Graph 4.99% -- 4.99%  
$50K Loan Graph 4.35% up 4.34%  
$75K Loan Graph 4.35% up 4.34%  
Loan Type Graph Rate +/- Last Week
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36 M Used Graph 3.17% up 3.13%  
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Loan Type Graph Yield +/- Last Week
6 month Graph 0.40% -- 0.40%  
1 yr Graph 0.72% -- 0.72%  
5 yr Graph 1.45% -- 1.44%