FILE -  In this Thursday, May 30, 2013, file photo, a job seeker stops at a table offering resume critiques during a job fair held in Atlanta. The Labor Department reported Thursday, Oct. 27, 2016, that fewer Americans sought unemployment aid the week before, a sign that businesses are holding onto their workers and hiring is likely solid. (AP Photo/John Amis, File)

FILE - In this Thursday, May 30, 2013, file photo, a job seeker stops at a table offering resume critiques during a job fair held in Atlanta. The Labor Department reported Thursday, Oct. 27, 2016, that fewer Americans sought unemployment aid the ... week before, a sign that businesses are holding onto their workers and hiring is likely solid. (AP Photo/John Amis, File) (The Associated Press)

Applications for US unemployment benefits fall to 258,000

Markets Associated Press

Fewer Americans sought unemployment aid last week, a sign that businesses are holding onto their workers and hiring is likely solid.

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The Labor Department says that weekly applications for unemployment benefits fell 3,000 to 258,000, not far from the 43-year low reached last month. Applications have been below 300,000 for 86 straight weeks, the longest such streak since 1970.

Applications are a proxy for layoffs, so the low level suggests companies are cutting few jobs. That typically means they are willing to add workers as well. Hiring has slowed a bit in the past few months, but is still strong enough to lower the unemployment rate over time.

About 2.04 million people are receiving unemployment aid, the government said, the fewest since June 2000.