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Jobless Claims At Five-Year Low; Home Building Hit Five-Year High In 2012

There were 335,000 first-time claims for unemployment insurance last week, down 37,000 from the week before, the Employment and Training Administration reports.

That's the lowest total for any one week since January 2008.

In other good economic news, the Census Bureau and Department of Housing and Urban Development say there was a 12.1 percent gain in housing starts in December from November. Starts were up 36.9 percent from December 2011.

Construction was begun on an estimated 780,000 housing units last year. According to The Associated Press, it was "the best year since 2008."

Home construction is a closely watched economic indicator not only because of the jobs it creates in the building industry, but for its ripple effects on other parts of the economy — including the appliance, furniture and retail industries.

Copyright 2013 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NPR

A Grisly, Humorous Dissection Of Morality In 'Anatomy Theatre'

It was once thought that evil resided inside the body. So murderers were dissected to find it. That macabre practice is the subject of a dark but funny new opera, "Anatomy Theatre."
NPR

Can Arnold Schwarzenegger Persuade China To Eat Less Meat?

Like the U.S., China is battling obesity and climate change. So it's urging citizens to eat less meat — and spreading the word with public service ads featuring Hollywood stars.
NPR

Trump Lags Behind Clinton In 'Ground Game' Support

When running for office, you need a good "ground game." Some say Trump lacks what's needed to get out the vote. NPR's Scott Simon speaks with Rob Jesmer, formerly with the RNC, about what that means.
NPR

President Obama Acknowledges 'Brexit' To Silicon Valley Crowd

President Obama delivered a speech Friday at Stanford University, and remarked on the Brexit vote in front of a crowd of young, tech-forward, pro-globalization attendees from 170 countries.

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