Fewer Americans filed for unemployment benefits last week as the labor market remains sturdy despite high interest rates.

The Labor Department reported Thursday that jobless claims for the week ending July 6 fell by 17,000 to 222,000 from 239,000 the previous week.

The total number of Americans collecting unemployment benefits declined for the first time in 10 weeks. About 1.85 million Americans were collecting jobless benefits for the week of June 29, around 4,000 fewer than the previous week.

Weekly unemployment claims are widely considered as representative of layoffs.

The four-week average of claims, which evens out some of the week-to-week volatility, fell by 5,250 to 233,500.



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