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(AP Photo/Alan Diaz)

(Bloomberg) — Fewer than 300,000 American workers filed applications for unemployment benefits for the sixth consecutive week, pointing to labor-market strength even as hiring cooled last month.

While a Labor Department report in Washington Thursday showed jobless claims increased by 12,000 to 294,000 in the week ended April 11, readings this low are typically consistent with an improving job market. The median forecast of 50 economists surveyed by Bloomberg called for 280,000. The total number of people currently receiving benefits was the lowest since 2000.

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