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(AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)

(Bloomberg) — Applications for unemployment benefits climbed last week to a level that’s consistent with progress in the labor market.

Jobless claims rose by 25,000 to 304,000 in the week ended Feb. 7, higher than forecast, from a revised 279,000 in the prior period, a Labor Department report showed Thursday in Washington. The median projection of 48 economists surveyed by Bloomberg called for 287,000. The four-week average dropped to the lowest since mid-November.

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