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But on Thursday, the commerce department’s weekly jobs report painted a different picture, with the number of workers who filed for unemployment benefits rising sharply, by 71,000 jobs, to 375,000, or the most since Hurricane Katrina hit in September 2005.
The disappointing report could tilt economists’ reading of the US labour market towards the belief that it is weakening significantly, after a series of mixed signals over the course of this week.