(Associated Press) – The number of Americans applying for jobless benefits rose to their highest level in two months last week, but layoffs remain at historically low levels as the labor market continues to chug along despite elevated interest rates.

The Labor Department reported Thursday that filings for unemployment claims for the week ending March 30 climbed by 9,000 to 221,000 from the previous week’s 212,000.

In total, 1.79 million Americans were collecting jobless benefits during the week that ended March 23, a decline of 19,000 from the previous week.

Weekly unemployment claims are considered a proxy for the number of U.S. layoffs in a given week.

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