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The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits unexpectedly rose last week, but that probably does not signal a material shift in labor market conditions as claims remain near their pre-recession levels. Initial claims for state unemployment benefits increased 11,000 to a seasonally adjusted 315,000 for the week ended Sept. 6, the highest level since late June, the Labor Department said on Thursday. A Labor Department analyst said there were no special factors influencing the state level data. Job growth braked sharply in August, with employers adding only 142,000 jobs to their payrolls – snapping six consecutive months of job increases above 200,000.

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