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n this Wednesday, Aug. 14, 2013 photo, job seekers check out companies at a job fair in Miami Lakes, Fla. (AP Photo/Alan Diaz)

WASHINGTON (AP) — The number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits dropped 9,000 last week to a seasonally adjusted 323,000, near the lowest level since June 2008. The figure shows employers are laying off fewer and fewer workers, an encouraging sign one day before the government will issue its August jobs report.

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