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Registered nurse Salanda Bowman, left, talks with part-time Kentucky Wesleyan College student, Jason Ward, of Whitesville, about job during a Regional Career and Job Fair in the Owensboro Sports Center in Owensboro, Ky. (AP Photo/The Messenger-Inquirer, Gary Emord-Netzley, File)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Applications for US unemployment benefits dropped 15,000 to a seasonally adjusted 358,000 last week, though the figure was distorted for the second straight week by California’s efforts to clear backlogged claims.

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