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Initial claims for unemployment insurance fell to a new pandemic-era low last week, according to the Labor Department.  First-time filings for benefits totaled 360,000, the best number since March 14, 2020.  Continuing claims, which run a week behind the headline number, also fell sharply, declining by 126,000 to 3.24 million. That also established a new low for a jobs market that still has some distance to go before getting back to its pre-Covid 19 self but has made significant strides.

China reported second-quarter GDP growth that came in slightly below expectations, while retail sales and industrial production grew faster than forecast in June.  The country’s gross domestic product increased 7.9% in the second quarter from a year ago, according to the National Bureau of Statistics. That fell short of estimate of 8.1% growth for the April to June period.

Oregon workforce officials said the state’s unemployment rate dropped in June to 5.6%, down from a 5.8% tally for May.  The state added 7,500 jobs in June, according to the Oregon Employment Department, down from an average of 10,100 in the five months prior.  The numbers show Oregon continues to recover from the recession, but the rapid rebound seen in the recovery’s first months has slowed.

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