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Jona Caldwell joins a long line of job seekers outside the Ferguson Community Center in Cordova, Tenn. (AP Photo/The Commercial Appeal, Jim Weber, File)

WASHINGTON (AP) — The number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits dropped by 42,000 last week to a seasonally adjusted 338,000, the biggest drop since November 2012. But economists say the figures from late November and December are warped by seasonal volatility around the Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s holidays.

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